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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 September 2022

Kristin Mahoney
Affiliation:
Michigan State University
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Summary

The introduction considers the appeal Decadence and the work of Oscar Wilde held for queer, cosmopolitan subjects in the early-twentieth century who wished to reimagine structures of kinship. Decadence’s association with sexual dissidence and curiosity along with Wilde’s reputation as a sexual martyr informed the thinking of authors and artists in the twentieth century who worked to generate alternatives to heteronormative practices of affiliation. These figures operated alongside but saw themselves as distinct from high modernist networks, turning to the fin de siècle past to express their sense of distinction from the aesthetic modes in fashion at the time. While Wilde’s capacity for reimagining new modes of kinship informed more liberatory strains of twentieth-century Decadence, his interest in age-differentiated eroticism and the more general tendency to Orientalism within the Decadent Movement also inflected the practices marked by his influence during this period. The introduction thus stresses that the kinship experiments of twentieth-century Decadents carried forward the many political valences of their source material and that their work should be approached through the framework of what Kadji Amin has called “deidealization,” a mode of queer historical practice that acknowledges that queer alternatives are not always just alternatives.

Type
Chapter
Information
Queer Kinship after Wilde
Transnational Decadence and the Family
, pp. 1 - 30
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Introduction
  • Kristin Mahoney, Michigan State University
  • Book: Queer Kinship after Wilde
  • Online publication: 15 September 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009019682.001
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Introduction
  • Kristin Mahoney, Michigan State University
  • Book: Queer Kinship after Wilde
  • Online publication: 15 September 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009019682.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Kristin Mahoney, Michigan State University
  • Book: Queer Kinship after Wilde
  • Online publication: 15 September 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009019682.001
Available formats
×