This new study of the major prose and plays of Oscar Wilde argues that his dominant aesthetic category is not art but style. It is this major emphasis on style and attitude which helps mark Wilde so graphically as our contemporary. Beginning with a survey of current Wilde criticism, the book demonstrates the way his own critical essays anticipate much contemporary cultural theory and inform his own practice as a writer.
Neil Sammells brings Wilde to life and makes him our contemporary in ways that convince. This is a book I'll give to students, not least because I'll think they'll enjoy it." - Jonathan Dollimore, University of York.
'Sammells argues that in Wilde's plays and prose his dominant aesthetic caetgory is not art but style. And he does it with style.' - Irish Literary Supplement
Introduction 1. Origin and Terminus 2. Theorizing Style: The Essays 3. Theory into Practice: Dorian Gray and Salome 4. Theory into Practice: The Society Comedies 5. From Baudelaire to Bowie Bibliography Index