Oscar Wilde, Journalist

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The famous playwright and novelist Oscar Wilde also spent a number of years in journalism. Scholars John Stokes and Mark W. Turner are finally collecting Wilde’s journalism from the 1880s. Little is known of Wilde’s life at this time, but the articles he left behind reveal Wilde’s varied interests, reports the Times Literary Supplement, and ultimately laid the groundwork for Wilde’s better-known writing in later years:

One of the most rewarding ways of reading Wilde’s journalism is therefore as a giant workshop for the making of the Wilde that readers know better from his more famous writings of the 1890s. It is in the journalism that Wilde comes up for the first time with many of the ideas and phrases that he would reuse in critical essays such as “The Decay of Lying” or “The Critic as Artist”. The traffic between his journalism and criticism makes us realize that to draw a sharp divide between these two fields in the Victorian age is a rather arbitrary affair.


Ian MacAllen's fiction has appeared in 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, Joyland Magazine, and elsewhere and nonfiction has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, The Negatives, Electric Literature, Fiction Advocate, and elsewhere. He is the Deputy Editor of The Rumpus, holds an MA in English from Rutgers University, tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →