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A Florentine Tragedy and La Sainte Courtisane

A Florentine Tragedy and La Sainte Courtisane by Oscar Wilde
By: (1854-1900)

Two short fragments: an unfinished and a lost play. A Florentine Tragedy, left in a taxi (not a handbag), is Wilde’s most successful attempt at tragedy – intense and domestic, with surprising depth of characterisation. It was adapted into an opera by the Austrian composer Alexander Zemlinsky in 1917. La Sainte Courtisane, or The Woman Covered in Jewels explores one of Wilde’s great idées fixes: the paradox of religious hedonism, pagan piety. Both plays, Wildean to their core, revel in the profound sadness that is the fruit of the conflict between fidelity and forbidden love. Written towards the end of his tragic life, these fragments give us a glimpse of a genius at his best: visceral, passionate, personal, poetic.

First Page:

Oscar Wilde Miscellaneous

Contents:

Preface by Robert Ross A Florentine Tragedy A Fragment La Sainte Courtisane A Fragment

PREFACE BY ROBERT ROSS

'As to my personal attitude towards criticism, I confess in brief the following: "If my works are good and of any importance whatever for the further development of art, they will maintain their place in spite of all adverse criticism and in spite of all hateful suspicions attached to my artistic intentions. If my works are of no account, the most gratifying success of the moment and the most enthusiastic approval of as augurs cannot make them endure. The waste paper press can devour them as it has devoured many others, and I will not shed a tear . . . and the world will move on just the same."' RICHARD STRAUSS.

The contents of this volume require some explanation of an historical nature. It is scarcely realised by the present generation that Wilde's works on their first appearance, with the exception of De Profundis, were met with almost general condemnation and ridicule... Continue reading book >>


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