Chapter

The Picture of Charles Bon: Oscar Wilde's Trip Through Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha

Ellen Crowell

in The Dandy in Irish and American Southern Fiction

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780748625482
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652051 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748625482.003.0003
The Picture of Charles Bon: Oscar Wilde's Trip Through Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha

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This chapter demonstrates that Oscar Wilde's trip through the ruined South reinforced the artist's nascent preoccupation with the relationship between beauty and decay. It offers a reading of Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray as a novel whose Gothicism was in part born of the same aesthetics of ruin as William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!. The chapter shows that, in Wildean dandyism, as expressed through both Wilde's self-aetheticisation and his prose, Faulkner recognised a model through which to identify and critique the multiple and fraught performances of Southern aristocracy.

Keywords: Oscar Wilde; beauty and decay; Dorian Gray; Gothicism; William Faulkner; Absalom; Wildean dandyism; Southern aristocracy

Chapter.  20733 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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