In this talk, Deaglán Ó Donghaile will discuss Oscar Wilde’s belief that the participation of working class people in the fields of art and culture were central to the socialist struggle. Although Wilde’s 1891 essay The soul of man under socialism has been dismissed by critics as an uncharacteristically radical piece written by an essentially conservative author, his views on class politics were always revolutionary. Drawing on research for his forthcoming book, Revolutionary Wilde, Deaglán will explain how Wilde praised workers as ‘the creators in art’ and why, from the earliest stage of his career, he wanted to ‘speak to the hard-working people’ by overcoming ‘the prejudice that shuts them and me away from each other’.
Dr Deaglán Ó Donghaile is a Senior Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University. From 2020-21 he was a British Academy Research Fellow. His most recent book, Oscar Wilde and the radical politics of the fin de siècle, was published by Edinburgh University Press. His next book, Revolutionary Wilde, will be published in 2022.
We are aiming to run this talk both in person and live-streamed – please check www.wcml.org.uk/events for details.