Abstract

Abstract:

Among others, Hester Travers Smith (1923) and Leslie Flint (1962) claimed to have communicated with the spirit of Oscar Wilde. These and lesser-known instances cannot be entirely explained as the inevitable result of Wilde's continuing notoriety nor even as the mediums' desire to produce a few witty epigrams to sway the incredulous. Wilde's interest in the otherworldly is expressed most explicitly in terms of his literary output in The Picture of Dorian Gray, though the ties between it and spiritualism have gone unexplored. This article fills this lacuna by establishing Wilde's position within the fin-de-siècle magical revival, investigating Wilde's engagement with phenomena associated with spiritualism and the supernatural, paying particular attention to his encounters with the photographic medium, the connections between his experiences of photographic and painted portraits and occult activities in order to illuminate spiritually inflected traces in his writings.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 139-161
Launched on MUSE
2019-12-20
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
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