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Wilde in Hollywood, or How the Golden Age Got Naughty

Tuesday April 30 at 9:00 pm - 10:30 pm BST

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Hollywood is haunted by the ghost of playwright and novelist Oscar Wilde. But how did Wilde, who died over a decade before the first feature film, help to make the movies? Join Kate Hext, associate professor of English literature at the University of Exeter and author of the new book Wilde in the Dream Factory: Decadence and the American Movies, for a lively discussion about Oscar Wilde’s hitherto unknown influence on US cinema. This conversation is hosted by Andrew Rimby, host and director of The Ivory Tower Boiler Room.

In the decades after his imprisonment for his sexuality, the playwright and raconteur Oscar Wilde helped to make Hollywood movies racy and queer. His quips and style inspired the new screenwriters and directors, offering a way to put sex in the air in an era of increasing restrictions on what could be shown onscreen. Set within the rich, evolving history of the American screen, this salon reveals Wilde’s influence on Hollywood from the silent movies to screwball comedies – and changes forever how we understand both Wilde’s afterlife and cinema’s beginnings.

Recommended Reading:

Kate Hext, Wilde in the Dream Factory: Decadence and the American Movies (Oxford University Press, 2024)

The Decadent Movement, In Our Time, BBC Radio 4

David Weir, Decadent Culture in the United States: Art and Literature Against the American Grain, 1890-1926 (SUNY, 2009)

This event will be recorded.


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Wilde in Hollywood, or how the Golden Age got Naughty
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$ 10.00


Tuesday April 30
9:00 pm - 10:30 pm BST
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