to create pleasurable horrors in the safety of our own bedrooms.
When Chema and Ángela descend to the basement of the
School and are trapped in the underground corridors, he tells her a version
of OscarWilde’s story ‘The Birthday of the Infanta’ in
order to calm her nerves. The dwarf in this story entertains the princess by
dancing and jumping. While looking for the princess one day, he sees himself
– and by implication sex – can be circumvented and
a new model of male–female cohabitation established. The screwball
comedy is of course a variant on farce, with roots in classical theatrical
forms from commedia dell’arte to Shakespeare to OscarWilde.
The universality of the dilemmas and the timeless appeal of comedy as a
valve are highlighted in an ironic moment of self-referentiality in
Naples is a Battlefield (1944); The Bespoke Overcoat
commanding officer. He directed one film during that time, Naples is a
Battlefield for the Ministry of Information. After the war, he was an
assistant director on Anthony Asquith’s film version of a Terence
Rattigan play, While the Sun Shines (1946); the production manager on
Korda’s film version of OscarWilde’s An Ideal Husband
(1947); and the second unit director on Gordon Parry’s Bond
Street (1948). However, his most
Renaissance construe[d] as irrepressibly Gothic and ominously
modern’, taken up in Andreas Höfele’s reading of
Shakespeare’s The Tempest through OscarWilde’s late
nineteenth century Gothic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray .
Höfele takes Wilde’s reference to Caliban in the preface of
the novel as a starting-point for a comparative investigation into the
human/animal boundary within early modern and post
theoreticians or observers: Lord Byron, OscarWilde, William Burroughs, J.G.
Ballard, Chris Petit (specifically, the eponymous character from his novel Robinson,
1993), William Gibson (Peter Riviera, a protagonist in the latter’s Neuromancer, 1984,
is a classic, and rather sinister, dandy) and Susan Sontag, whose ‘Notes on “Camp”’
(1964) could be looked to for insights into the political style of, for example, Pim
Fortuyn; among the French, obvious names are Sade, Baudelaire, Huysmans and
qualities than for its communicative ones. OscarWilde’s
1889 review which accuses Swinburne of a surrendering ‘of his own
personality’ to the mastery of language over him –
‘words seem to dominate him’ (Wilde 1968 , 148, 146) – and T. S. Eliot’s charge of
‘uproot[ing]’ language and offering ‘merely the
hallucination of meaning’ (Eliot 1920a , 149)
are well known, but the issues of genre embedded within
Haroun and the Sea of Stories and The Moor’s Last Sigh
–5), OscarWilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray (see SRI, 204), Shakespeare’s Othello (MLS, 224–5 and 430), The Merchant of Venice (MLS, 89 and 114–15), fairy tales from diverse cultural sources, Mehboob Khan’s Bharat Mata (MLS, 137–9), and Cervantes’s Don Quixote (from which the name Benengali is taken). 12 None of these references is purely gratuitous, as each serves specific functions in the text, as scholars have already begun to demonstrate. Jonathan Greenberg, for instance, has argued that Rushdie uses Othello because ‘the textually ambiguous nature of the
The most Gothic of acts – suicide in generic context
William Hughes and Andrew Smith
29 Edgar Allan Poe, ‘William Wilson’, in The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe (New York: Chatham River Press, 1981), pp. 212–25, at p. 225.
30 OscarWilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray , ed. Joseph Bristow (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 187.
31 Note here Wilde’s emphasis on Gray merely shrugging his shoulders when he considers ‘his own sin’ immediately prior to stabbing the portrait: ibid ., p. 187.
22 This social and national travel echoes that of Machen, who moved to London after having been raised in Wales, in the former Roman fort town of Caerleon. The drama of that move is reflected in the disorientations of the would-be author, Lucian Taylor, in Machen’s The Hill of Dreams (1907).
23 Foucault, The Order of Things , p. 398, See Pratt, ‘Empedocles, Suicide, and the Order of Things’, 85.
24 OscarWilde, The Picture of Dorian Gary , ed. Peter Ackroyd (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985), p. 65. All subsequent
. Furie 1962), his brittle, vulnerable OscarWilde (Gregory Ratoff 1960) and A. E. Matthews in They Came to a City (Basil Dearden 1944) with his Sir George Gedney bleakly confessing, ‘I can’t stand people’. With Chimes at Midnight Rutherford is a symbol of Welles’s lament for a lost Eden:
Merrie England as a conception, a myth which has been very real to the English-speaking world and is to some extent expressed in other countries of the Medieval epoch: the age of chivalry, of simplicity, of Maytime and all that. It is more than Falstaff who is dying. It