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Built of Books: How Reading Defined the Life…
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Built of Books: How Reading Defined the Life of Oscar Wilde (edición 2009)

por Thomas Wright (Autor)

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325860,845 (3.98)36
"Oscar's Books tells the story of Wilde's life, from his childhood in Dublin, where he was nurtured on Celtic myth, Romantic poetry and Irish folklore; through his undergraduate years in Oxford, where he built his intellect out of books; to prison, where books saved his sanity; and to his final days in Paris, where he consoled himself with old favourites such as Flaubert and Balzac. He emerges as a towering intellectual figure and a model of the rich humanistic and bookish culture of his time."--BOOK JACKET.… (más)
Miembro:dvnmng
Título:Built of Books: How Reading Defined the Life of Oscar Wilde
Autores:Thomas Wright (Autor)
Info:Henry Holt and Co. (2009), Edition: 1, 384 pages
Colecciones:Bedroom shelves, Tu biblioteca
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Built of Books: How Reading Defined the Life of Oscar Wilde por Thomas Wright

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» Ver también 36 menciones

Mostrando 1-5 de 8 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
An excellent book about Oscar Wilde. So much I didn't know. Clearly this author is a fan and he made me one, too. ( )
  bcrowl399 | May 30, 2019 |
Interesting look at the books in Wilde's library and how they impacted his work, life, etc. ( )
  SESchend | Sep 6, 2017 |
Thomas Wright has accomplished quite a remarkable feat writing a book of close to 400 pages about the books owned and read by Oscar Wilde. Reamarkable, because not that much is known about Wilde's reading, and very little research had been conducted in that area. As the Legacy Library project at LibraryThing shows, there is considerable interest in knowing what great authors read or had in their libraries. Obvuously, as will also be relevant in the case of Oscar Wilde, owning, perusing and reading are quite different actions. Some historical figures compiled notebooks recording what books they finished reading, but no such record is available about Wilde's reading.

Oscar's books is a not merely a bibliography. Rather, it is a biography of Oscar Wilde with particular interest in the books he (may have) read, bought, collected, and, wrote. Actually, there is not much about the books he wrote. Oscar's books really focuses on the books Wilde read or may have possessed.

Spending his youth in the third quarter of the Nineteenth century, much is made of story telling, and listening to stories being told, whether from literary sources or an oral tradition. Young Oscar Wilde grew up in Ireland, and throughout his life, he remained interested in the fairytales of his ancestral homeland. Later in the book, Wilde received the then young W.B. Yeats as a visitor to his home in London. The chapters describing Wilde's youth suggest which books his mother read to him and which books were present in their home, some of which he would treasure after his tragic downfall, as he returned to his mother's home after finishing his prison sentence. Books read at that time include fairytales and the novels by Disraeli.

Oscar Wilde was not particularly careful with books. It was essential for him to own copies of books, so that he could write in them, making notes and comments in the margins. In later life, while writing essays and books, he would also apply the scissors or simply tear out pages to collect pieces he needed. Careful study of the marginalia shows that Wilde literally devoured books and used books intensively in authoring his own work. In the afterword, Wright describes some of the copies owned by Wilde and how study of the marginalia helped understand Wilde's ways of working. However, very few of the copies of books owned by Wilde have survived or are available for study.

At Oxford, Wilde read the classics, and particularly [[Benjamin Jowett]]'s "[The Dialogues of Plato] became one of Wilde's golden books (p. 85). Here his interest in reading Plato and other greek authors is outlined, and Wilde's developing interest in Greek culture. One of the most important books, to influence him lifelong, was Walter Pater's The Renaissance.

Thomas Wright goes some way to describe the cultural history of the significance of "the library" in a Victorian gentleman's home, and describes what Oscar Wilde's library may have looked like. Here, Wilde withdrew to find peace and quiet and enjoy his books. Much is made of Wilde's aesthetic enjoyment of books, and the material features of finely printed books of the last two decades of the Nineteenth century. Various chapters describe which books he owned and at which time he may have bought them, linking their content and authorship to literary figures Wilde encountered at that time and the use of the books in his own work as sources of inspiration.

In the late 1880s and early 1890s, Wilde's interest extended to collecting Uranian poetry,a term used to indicate poetry of more or less open homosexual nature. Oscar's books describes how Wilde obtained these books, either as gifts from their authors of through bookshops and publishers. Part of Wilde's days were filled with visiting bookshops and maintining close contact with booksellers and publishers.

Subsequent chapters describe the libel court case, which Oscar Wilde lost and which ruined him. His possessions including his library were auctioned off. No catalogue survives or ever existed, and some of the books were bought by his friends. Some of these books are noew owned by university libraries in the United States.

Imprisonment with hard labour for two years effectively meant a death sentence, as it was known at that time that most gentleman of the upper classes had but a limited time to survive after completion of such imprisonment. The terms of Wilde's imprisonment were gradually eased and he was allowed to request purchase of books. The lists with his requests have been preserved and show which books Wilde certainly read in prison. Upon his release, Wilde stayed for a while with his mother, before moving to the European continent.

Oscar's books is a touching and dramatic biography of Oscar Wilde that describes in detail which books Oscar Wilde owned and read during his lifetime, and how these books shaped his work and his fate. ( )
2 vota edwinbcn | Feb 18, 2016 |
This is a biography of Wilde but with the differences of exploring Wilde through the books he owned, his library and the books he read through his life . it is an original, clever and very readable . The author's enthusiasm if not passion for Wilde and his search for all associations with Wilde makes for inspired research and writing . The story of the sale of Wilde's library in 1895 by auction to satisfy his creditors is sad but then his life story was poignant to the point of tragedy, because he was witty, achieved literary , social and theatrical fame and then fell through moral depravity and self deception. He lost his reputation, his place in society, destroyed his wife and harmed his children through his lies, egomania and obsessions. He paid the ultimate price of a prison sentence . Yet Wilde went on to write one of the most important pieces of prison literature, De Profundis . He was a brilliant , streaking comet and died impoverished, heartbroken and far too soon. The loss of his library was a bitter personal blow and he was inconsolable. It is interesting to read about the books that came back to Wilde in the remaining five years of his life . He was 46 when he died in Paris. This literary biography serves Wilde fans well and is a tribute to Wilde. The subtext is a guided reading list on what the educated English author of the period 1870 to 1900 would and should have read . The appendices, notes bibliography, afterword, and indexes add ballast. My copy is a hard backed edition and is beautifully illustrated by John Vassos and the photos have been traced in Wilde family archives and are a bonus. Well done, Mr Wright. ( )
  Africansky1 | May 25, 2013 |
A literary biography of Oscar Wilde exploring the books that surrounded him and informed his development as an individual and as a writer.

Wright's work is well-researched and contains elegant prose that strives to evoke the world and the books that were such a major part of Oscar Wilde's life. There are plentiful end notes in each chapter, citing sources and noting additional sources. The occasional footnotes are also highly informative, adding interesting details and asides. However, this book should not be approached strictly as a biography of Oscar Wilde. While the basic details of Wilde's life are sketched out, Wright's focus is primarily on the texts in Wilde's life, as his thesis argues that books were one of the major influences that made Oscar Wilde the man he was. While relatively well-supported throughout, Wright't tremendous emphasis on life imitating art in that many events in Wilde's life mirrored those in some of his favourite works, he carries it too far for my taste in one section citing the works as portents for Wilde's life. I was also disappointed by Wright's choice to conclude the book by citing quotations from "Wilde" from a seance in the 1920s, which is insufficiently authoritative for my tastes. However, Wright is passionate about his subject, which is evident not only in the body of the book but also in the afterword in which he glosses his experiences researching and writing the book. Not a traditionally styled biography, but Wright's exploration of the books that surrounded Wilde and his argument about the influence of these works is worth a read for those interested in the intellectual life of Oscar Wilde. ( )
  MickyFine | Aug 31, 2011 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 8 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
Wright commingles the intellectual — books as repositories of ideas, whether lofty, silly or pornographic (and frequently French) — with the material aspects of reading, revealing not only Wilde’s love of beautifully bound editions and his practice of sending handsome volumes to handsome young men, but also such odd facts as his habit of tearing off and eating the top corner of a page as he read it.
 
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FOR MY PARENTS,
Paul and Anne Marie Wright
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"Built of Books" is the title the book was published as in the U.S. (first U.S. edition 2009, Henry Holt and Company).
This books was first published as "Oscar's Books", in Great Britain in 2008 by Chatto & Windus.  It was later published in the U.S. as "Built of Books", in 2009 by Henry Holt and Company.
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"Oscar's Books tells the story of Wilde's life, from his childhood in Dublin, where he was nurtured on Celtic myth, Romantic poetry and Irish folklore; through his undergraduate years in Oxford, where he built his intellect out of books; to prison, where books saved his sanity; and to his final days in Paris, where he consoled himself with old favourites such as Flaubert and Balzac. He emerges as a towering intellectual figure and a model of the rich humanistic and bookish culture of his time."--BOOK JACKET.

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