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Oscar Wilde and Rachilde: Queer Paris Networks in the 1890s

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, November 17, 2015. 06:00 PM - 07:30 PM
Meeting Location: 
Stanford Humanities Center Board Room
Workshop: 
Feminisms & Queerings
Meeting Description: 
Speaker:
Dr. Petra Dierkes-Thrun, Lecturer in DLCL and Clayman Institute Fellow
 
Meeting description:
In this talk, Petra Dierkes-Thrun will share her research in progress on the literary and personal relations between Oscar Wilde and notorious French Decadent writer, publisher, and salon hostess Rachilde (Marguerite Eymery-Vallette, 1860-1956), who played a critical role in channeling Wilde's intellectual impact for the 20th century. Through her work at the Parisian literary magazine Mercure de France, Rachilde provided Wilde with a queer network of influential writers, artists and journalists in the early 1890s. After Wilde's scandalous 1895 trials and untimely death, she also wrote articles defending homosexual love, reviewed Wilde's work, and commissioned new translations of his novels and plays that helped recuperate his artistic reputation in France and beyond. A strikingly gender-bending artist and independent woman in her own right, Rachilde was nonetheless also a declared anti-feminist, illustrating the complex and sometimes contradictory relationships between queer art and the struggle for women’s rights at the turn of the century.
 
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