CULTURAL HISTORY

PUBLISHER
Damiani

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 6.5 x 9.5 in. / 160 pgs / 40 bw.

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Active

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Catalog: SPRING 2020 p. 21   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9788862087148 TRADE
List Price: $29.95 CDN $41.95

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In stock

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DAMIANI

Oscar Wilde's Italian Dream 1875–1900

By Renato Miracco. Introduction by Philip Kennicott.

Featured spread is from 'Oscar Wilde's Italian Dream 1875–1900.'

Italy as a haven of gay liberty: a grand tour with Oscar Wilde, featuring previously unseen photographs and archival materials

In Oscar Wilde’s Italian Dream 1875–1900, leading Wilde scholar Renato Miracco combines written research with previously unseen visual material ranging from Wilde’s earliest heady trips to Italy as an Oxford student to recently released court documents from his trial and his final days in France and Italy in 1900, after his incarceration in Reading Gaol, and his voluntary exile from Britain. Italy, and the larger world beyond London, was essential to the sensitivity and awareness of Wilde’s identity, his contributions to prison reform and his challenges to social norms and sexual stereotypes in his last years. It also offered a great deal of sexual liberty compared to the oppressive moral atmosphere of England at that time.

The previously unseen images Miracco has incorporated in this volume (including photos that Wilde received from the gay German photographer Wilhelm von Gloeden) are mainly from private collections, and together with letters, reminiscences and magazine and newspaper articles (along with derogatory articles about Wilde from the Italian press) they play a key role in placing Wilde’s character, and an entire generation, in a complex context. Oscar Wilde’s Italian Dream 1875–1900 is a major addition to the canon of one of the world’s greatest literary figures.

Renato Miracco (born 1953) is an Italian art critic and curator. He was awarded the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic for Cultural Achievements in 2018. He served as Cultural Attaché 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 for Tate Modern in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and London’s Estorick Collection. His passion for Wilde dates from the early 1980s when he wrote his first essay on Wilde’s time in Italy. This new book on Wilde is based on new materials that Miracco has found over the last few years.


Featured spread is from 'Oscar Wilde's Italian Dream 1875–1900.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Edmund White

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.

Telegraph

Merlin Holland

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.

Telegraph

Dalya Alberg

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.

Interview

Mitchell Nugent

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.

Oscar Wilde's Italian Dream 1875–1900

in stock  $29.95


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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/21/2020

'Oscar Wilde's Italian Dream' is new from Damiani

'Oscar Wilde's Italian Dream' is new from Damiani

Featured spread, with photograph by Wilhelm von Gloeden, is from Oscar Wilde's Italian Dream 1875–1900, Renato Miracco's account of Wilde's largely previously undocumented grand tour of Italy following his incarceration in Reading Gaol and subsequent exile from England. "Cast out of London, shorn of his respectability and reduced to penury," Philip Kennicott writes in the Introduction, "Wilde wasn’t just an international scandal, he was face to face with the multiplicity of identities that he had, for some time, managed to suppress under the cloak of his provocative aestheticism." Archival photographs, letters and press clippings add heft to this welcome volume of original scholarship. continue to blog


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