Perverse Midrash: Oscar Wilde, André Gide, and Censorship of Biblical Drama

Overview

Oscar Wilde's Salome and Andre Gide's Saul have been considered critically in the traditional contexts of authorial oeuvre, biography, or "thought." These plays have been treated with embarrassed respect, dealt with only because of the importance of their authors. That Wilde and Gide made use of biblical material seems to discomfit their critics; that they had done so at a time when biblical drama was prohibited has rarely been addressed. Traditional critical treatments seek to smooth over the plays' aberrant ...

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Overview

Oscar Wilde's Salome and Andre Gide's Saul have been considered critically in the traditional contexts of authorial oeuvre, biography, or "thought." These plays have been treated with embarrassed respect, dealt with only because of the importance of their authors. That Wilde and Gide made use of biblical material seems to discomfit their critics; that they had done so at a time when biblical drama was prohibited has rarely been addressed. Traditional critical treatments seek to smooth over the plays' aberrant qualities. This study takes them seriously as aberrations and investigates Wilde's and Gide's claims that these plays are works of faith, by considering them as participating in the history of biblical drama.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826416216
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 11/3/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.92 (w) x 8.86 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author


Perverse Midrash is Katherine Brown Downey's, first book. She is working on a second about the Victorian-era Anglican cleric F.W. Farrar.
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Table of Contents

Prologue : "half biblical, half pornographic" 1
Act I Cultural dialogues
Scene 1 Nostos and Shavah : recovering spiritual origins 15
Scene 2 Unveiling fears : literary history as guardian of culture 57
Act II Interpretive monologues
Scene 1 Manifesting fears : Oscar Wilde's Salome 95
Scene 2 Perverting the text : Andre Gide's Saul 115
Epilogue : "perverse midrashim" 145
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