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In Oscar Wilde's Italian Dream 1875-1900, leading Wilde author Renato Miracco has combined written research with visual iconographic material - from Wilde's earliest heady trips to Italy as an Oxford student to his final days in France and Italy in 1900 after his incarceration in Reading Gaol, and his voluntary exile from Great Britain. Italy, and the larger world outside of London, was essential to the sensitivity and awareness of Wilde's identity, to his contributions to the prison reform, to his challenges to the social norms and sexual stereotypes in his last years. Latin formed the basis of a proper English gentleman's education-and Italy presented a landscape which animated and exacerbated social and personal conflict for young men such as Wilde. It also offered a great deal of sexual liberty compared to the oppressive moral atmosphere of England at that time. The images Miracco has incorporated in this volume (including photos that Wilde received from the gay German photographer, Von Gloeden) are mainly unknown from private collections, and together with letters, reminiscences, magazine and newspaper articles (along with derogatory articles about Wilde written by the Italian press) play a key role in placing Wilde's character, and an entire generation, in a complex context - not only literary, but also visual. Reading about Naples, Rome, Palermo, Sicily, and Capri of that time, you see it as it must have appeared in the eyes of the writer. Oscar Wilde's Italian Dream 1875-1900 is a major addition to the canon of one of the world's greatest literary figures. The introduction to the book is by Philip Kennicott the Pulitzer Prize-winning art and architecture critic of The Washington Post.

 

Details

ISBN: 9788862087148
Audience: General
Format: Hardback
Number of Pages: 160
Publication Date: 9 Apr 2020
Publisher: Damiani
Publication City, Country: Bologna, Italy
Dimensions (cm): 24(H) x 17(L)
Weight (gm): 480

 

Reviews

In Oscar Wilde's Italian Dream ... art critic and curator Renato Miracco reminds us that Paris was not the only place where the author of The Portrait of Dorian Gray lived out his tragedy. Focusing on his years in exile, the book reconstructs with letters, photographs and newspaper clippings the trips to Italy with which Wilde alternated his stays in Paris following his release from prison .... The book invites you to follow Wilde's footsteps in Italy ... where he explored its myths, decadently decorated hotels, expensive restaurants and guided tours.--Diego Parrado "El Pais"
As far as I'm aware, these things have not been published before. Most of the research into Oscar's life has been done by Americans or English. Less has been done by Italians. The problem with dealing with Oscar is that one really needs to be probably trilingual in order to know everything. So it's not surprising that these things haven't been uncovered. [...] It's an interesting light on Oscar's life in Naples between September 1897 and January 1898.--Merlin Holland "Telegraph"
Miracco has brought to life the obscure finale of Oscar Wilde's existence . We thought we knew everything about Oscar Wilde but Miracco has added a whole new chapter of pain and pleasure.--Edmund White
Oscar Wilde's Italian Dream 1875-1900 satiates the appetite for a beach holiday like a sip of an Aperol Spritz on the Amalfi Coast.--Mitchell Nugent "Interview"
Oscar Wilde's early death was predicted by a fortune teller and the writer agreed he had fulfilled his 'destiny', new documents reveal. His comments appeared in an Italian article published in 1908 which has been translated into English for the first time in a new book.--Dalya Alberg "Telegraph"

 

Author Biography

Renato Miracco is a curator and critic who was awarded the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic for Cultural Achievements in 2018. He served as Cultural Attache for the Italian Embassy in Washington from 2010 to 2018 and as advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy. Miracco has curated major exhibitions with Tate Modern in London, with The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and with London's Estorick Collection. His passion for Wilde dates from the early 1980s when he wrote his first essay on Wilde's stays in Italy entitled Verso il sole. Cronaca del soggiorno napoletano (Colonnese, 1981). Miracco's new book on Wilde is based on new materials that he found during the last few years.
Oscar Wilde's Italian Dream
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