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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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Erotic Bafflement and the Lesson of Oscar Wilde

Erotic Bafflement and the Lesson of Oscar Wilde

De Profundis

(p.122) 6 Erotic Bafflement and the Lesson of Oscar Wilde
Dead Letters Sent

Kevin Ohi

University of Minnesota Press

In his prison letter to Lord Alfred Douglas, a letter commonly known as “De Profundis,” Oscar Wilde presents his lover with a lesson he could never learn, in a form of address that at once demands and forecloses a response. What might thus be called a pedagogy, and an erotics, of bafflement, offers, Chapter Six argues, a complex meditation on the erotics of aestheticism, and, presenting Wilde’s own own martyrdom to art, reflects on the relation of art to life, and on the unsettling demands of queer reading.

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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