Oscar Wildes Profession: Writing and the Culture Industry in the Late Nineteenth Century

Hardcover | November 1, 2001

byJosephine M. Guy, Ian Small

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A materialist account of Wilde's career as a writer, Oscar Wilde's Profession contests three widely held assumptions about his success: that there is a clear distinction between his life as a journalist and his artistic celebrity; that he was an aesthetic 'purist' in his attitude towards hisown books; and that his career was driven by an oppositional sexual or nationalist politics. The authors bring together evidence from the publishing trade, from Wilde's contracts and correspondence with publishers, and from documentation about his earnings (particularly the plays) to show that healways worked for money, but that he achieved far less financial success than is usually thought. Far from subverting the nascent consumerism of his time, he was thoroughly immersed in its values--in the commodification of culture in which books became product. At the same time, Oscar Wilde'sProfession provides a uniquely detailed account of Wilde's processes of composition, springing from the re-examination of his writing practice currently being undertaken in the Oxford English Texts edition of his complete work: it surveys his writing practices across the whole of the oeuvre, andradically reinterprets the significance of his revision and 'plagiarism'.

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A materialist account of Wilde's career as a writer, Oscar Wilde's Profession contests three widely held assumptions about his success: that there is a clear distinction between his life as a journalist and his artistic celebrity; that he was an aesthetic 'purist' in his attitude towards hisown books; and that his career was driven by ...

Josephine M. Guy is a Senior Lecturer in the School of English at University of Nottingham. Ian Small is a Professor of English Literature at the University of Birmingham.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:322 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.87 inPublished:November 1, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198187289

ISBN - 13:9780198187288

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Table of Contents

Wilde the writerThe journalist'Of making many books'The dramatistThe Bodley HeadPost-prison and posthumous worksThe writer at workAppendix: Wilde's booksSelect BibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`The book is extremely well written, and ... clear in its approach and aims'The Journal of the Oscar Wilde Society