David Walton

Wilde Between the Sheets

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Wilde Between the Sheets: Oscar Wilde, Mail Bondage and De Profundis argues that Oscar Wilde’s narrative strategies reveal a quick-witted, ingenious fighter—an active agent who tested boundaries and recognized the dangers of doing so, adopting essentialist or anti-essentialist strategies according to whatever shifting purpose he is writing with. David Walton challenges the one-dimensional view of Wilde as a tragic victim defeated by the penal system, arguing that Wilde constructed a self by weaving complex networks of time and paradoxical notions of space, along with a network of literary references and other intertexts. Walton goes on to claim that Wilde fashions a self while simultaneously being shaped by those he fashions, creating a critical dialogue which shows that, by constructing Wilde through interpretive acts, he has already been partially fashioned by Wilde himself.

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