It is heartening to see Oscar Wilde... receive here the dignity of a treatment by a disciplined and erudite clinic. (from a review of the original edition)—Harold Kaplan, New Leader
Edouard Roditi’s critical study of Oscar Wilde, originally published in 1947 in New Directions’ Makers of Modern Literature Series, was a pioneering attempt to evaluate a literary reputation long distorted by the journalistic appetite for scandal. Relegating biography to a back seat, Roditi addressed the importance of Wilde’s ingenious, imaginative, and dialectical thought in his own time and showed how his poetry, novels, plays, and critical writings were a key influence in the shift of English and American literature away from established and aging Romanticism toward Modernism. For this first paperbound edition of his perceptive and erudite study of Wilde, Roditi has added three additional chapters touching on new material about Wilde as well as the new public attitudes about homosexuality that have evolved since the book was first published.