Oscar Wilde was a consumer modernist. His modernist aesthetics drove him into the heart of the mass culture industries of 1890s London, particularly the journalism and popular theatre industries. Wilde was extremely active in these industries: as a journalist at the Pall Mall Gazette; as magazine editor of the Womena (TM)s World; as commentator on dress and design through both of these; and finally as a fabulously popular playwright. Because of his desire to impact a mass audience, the primary elements of Wildea (TM)s consumer aesthetic were superficial ornament and ephemeral public image a " both of which he linked to the theatrical. This concern with the surface and with the ephemeral was, [Read more...]
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