Chapter

Re-encounters

Jonathan Dollimore

in Sexual Dissidence

Published in print August 1991 | ISBN: 9780198112259
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670732 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112259.003.0005
Re-encounters

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André Gide's accounts of his meetings with Oscar Wilde have been regarded with suspicion. Gide felt that he knew Wilde better than others because he understood Wilde's homosexuality and the difference it made. He also claimed to have understood Wilde better than did others because he understood something about, and shared, Wilde's sexual difference, and so was a recipient of Wilde's confidence. He did not claim, as did some of those others, that he knew Wilde better than Wilde knew himself. In his Journals, Gide remarked that it was Wilde who had determined ‘to make of falsehood a work of art’ that he said ‘Never use I’. The I belongs to the very face, and Wilde's art had something of the mask about it…' On the one hand, Gide is again making a perceptive point about the relationship between Wilde's art and his homosexuality; he rejected the idea that Wilde's sexuality was dictated by his aestheticism.

Keywords: André Gide; Oscar Wilde; homosexuality; Journals; aestheticism; art

Chapter.  2099 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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