This article focuses on developments in critical, cultural, literary, and biographical understandings of Oscar Wilde over the last twenty-two years as well as in recent film adaptations drawing on his writing and life. In addition to noting the many new scholarly editions of his writing, the article focuses on six major areas of interest in Wilde over the last two decades: Wilde as a figure in Victorian Sexual History, where he assumes both central and subsidiary roles; Wilde as biographical subject, in which some biographers depict him as a serious artist and thinker while other biographers view him as complicit in his own criminal downfall; Wilde as a the twentieth- and twenty-first century cultural precursor of the American Pop artist Andy Warhol but also as a figure who transcends Warholian aesthetics as Wilde comes to represent a denied sentimentality, especially evident in recent cinematic adaptations; Wilde as a global figure whose writing and influence have resonated powerfully outside of Britain; Wilde and the critical approach known as the New Formalism, in which Wilde’s so-called art-for-art’s sake philosophy and practice are taken seriously; Wilde as he has come to assume a prominent place in the critical field known as the New Decadent Studies, in which the Decadent movement that Wilde helped to inaugurate emerges as far more than a short-lived, largely British phenomenon associated only with the 1880s and 1890s and that supposedly died with the successful prosecution of the playwright in 1895.

You do not currently have access to this content.