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Dead Letters SentQueer Literary Transmission$
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Kevin Ohi

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780816694778

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816694778.001.0001

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“That Strange Mimicry of Life by the Living”

“That Strange Mimicry of Life by the Living”

Queer Reading in Oscar Wilde’s “The Portrait of Mr. W.H.”

(p.105) 5 “That Strange Mimicry of Life by the Living”
Dead Letters Sent

Kevin Ohi

University of Minnesota Press

In a reading of Oscar Wilde’s “The Portrait of Mr. W.H.,” which presents a theory of Shakespeare’s Sonnets (purporting to identify the addressee of the dedication) and a narrative about the transmission, between men, of that theory, Chapter Five explores Wilde’s understanding of gay reading; Wilde’s text ultimately points to a paradoxical identification with an inhuman form, which links the question of gay reading to the uncanny mode of survival through which a beautiful boy can be said to live on “in” a literary text.

Keywords:   Literary tradition, Literary and cultural transmission, Queer literary criticism, Queer theory, Initiation and Development, Close Reading, Potentiality, Temporality of Consciousness

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