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Beautiful Untrue Things: Forging Oscar Wilde's Extraordinary Afterlife

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  7 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Borrowing its title from Oscar Wilde's essay "The Decay of Lying," this study engages questions of fraudulent authorship in the literary afterlife of Oscar Wilde. The unique cultural moment of Wilde's early-twentieth-century afterlife, Gregory Mackie argues, afforded a space for marginal and transgressive forms of literary production that, ironically enough, Wilde himself ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 11th 2019 by University of Toronto Press
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Alex Sarll
A bonkers Borgesian feast of a book, looking at the plays made for Oscar Wilde's legacy by various interested parties, from his official executors to fakes, forgers and performance fraudsters. We open with the 'real' portrait of Mr WH, or at any rate a sketch made long after the original was lost – which is to say, an authentic piece of Wildean ephemera that is also a reproduction of a reproduction of a fictional painting that was itself a forgery. This is, in short, a book which heads through ...more
Jill Elizabeth
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a marvelously detailed, meticulously researched, thoroughly academic study - and not what I was expecting. It reads like a textbook, which is not a bad thing or a good thing, just an observation. It made it much more work to read than I anticipated; I was expecting narrative nonfiction rather than a book-length scholarly article.

I'm a fan of Wilde's fiction. I know an above-average amount about his life, but by no means am I an afficionado. As a result, this was a tough read for me and
Sep 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I’ve always enjoyed Oscar Wilde’s writing and am fascinated by the life, but this book was one step too far for me personally. Not that I don’t appreciate its scope and meticulous research, but I found it just too academic and scholarly – as I think it would be for most general readers. It’s an academic exploration of Wilde’s afterlife, in the form of the many fakes, impostures, forged manuscripts and fan-fiction, a detailed history of the production and circulation of Wilde forgeries. I give ...more
Alan D.D.
Although hard to follow and heavy, it was a very enjoyable reading. You would never guess what happened after Oscar Wilde's death, how he afected the literary world with his passing and what peple did in order to preserve his memory or get famous using his name. Gregory Mackie did an incredible job in recollecting al this information and facts.
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm a huge fan of Oscar Wild and found this book enthralling and engrossing.
I loved how well researched and well written this book is.
It was a great read and I'm happy a learnt a lot.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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