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Sexual DissidenceAugustine to Wilde, Freud to Foucault$
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Jonathan Dollimore

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198112259

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112259.001.0001

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(p.74) 5Re-encounters
Sexual Dissidence

Jonathan Dollimore

Oxford University Press

André Gide's accounts of his meetings with Oscar Wilde have been regarded with suspicion. Gide felt that he knew Wilde better than others because he understood Wilde's homosexuality and the difference it made. He also claimed to have understood Wilde better than did others because he understood something about, and shared, Wilde's sexual difference, and so was a recipient of Wilde's confidence. He did not claim, as did some of those others, that he knew Wilde better than Wilde knew himself. In his Journals, Gide remarked that it was Wilde who had determined ‘to make of falsehood a work of art’ that he said ‘Never use I’. The I belongs to the very face, and Wilde's art had something of the mask about it…' On the one hand, Gide is again making a perceptive point about the relationship between Wilde's art and his homosexuality; he rejected the idea that Wilde's sexuality was dictated by his aestheticism.

Keywords:   André Gide, Oscar Wilde, homosexuality, Journals, aestheticism, art

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