In this episode, Professor Scott G. Bruce shares one of his favorite passages about the underworld from The Penguin Book of Hell, which he edited. Then Jacke talks to author Matthew Sturgis about his new biography, Oscar Wilde: A Life. Enjoy!
Even the best biographical depictions of Oscar Wilde often skip over the years he spent in prison, perhaps because the episode is so sad and painful. But in doing so, they miss the profundity of his life and writings. In this episode, Scott Carter, author of the new play Wilde Man, joins Jacke to talk about Oscar Wilde’s time in prison, including the writing of the agonizing masterpiece De Profundis.
Debut novelist A. Natasha Joukovsky (The Portrait of a Mirror) joins Jacke for a discussion of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Ovid’s myth of Narcissus, the fascinating power of recursions, and a life lived in the worlds of literature, business, and art.
THE PORTRAIT OF A MIRROR is a stunning reinvention of the myth of Narcissus as a modern novel of manners, about two young, well-heeled couples whose parallel lives intertwine over the course of a summer, by a sharp new voice in fiction.
A. NATASHA JOUKOVSKY holds a BA in English from the University of Virginia and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. She spent five years in the art world, working at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York before pivoting into management consulting. The Portrait of a Mirror is her debut novel. She lives in Washington, D.C.
In gratitude to Natasha for appearing on The History of Literature Podcast, a donation has been made to the LGBTQ Freedom Fund (lgbtqfund.org).
In Episode 87, we looked at the trials of Oscar Wilde and how they led to his eventual imprisonment and tragically early death. This episode picks up where that one left off, as the incarcerated Wilde writes a manuscript, De Profundis, that eventually leads to a bitter feud between two of his former friends and lovers. Laura Lee, author of Oscar’s Ghost: The Battle for Oscar Wilde’s Legacy, joins Jacke to discuss De Profundis, the battle between Lord Alfred Douglas and Wilde’s literary executor Robert Ross, and how Wilde’s legacy grew out of a web of blackmail, revenge, jealousy, resentment, and high courtroom drama.
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In February of 1895, the playwright Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) continued an astonishing run of theatrical success with the opening of his artistic masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest. Three months later, he was imprisoned on charges of “gross indecency.” In this special St. Patrick’s Day episode, host Jacke Wilson takes a look at the career of Oscar Wilde, Irish boy wonder, and the forces that led to his tragic demise.