The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde: Volume I: Poems and Poems in Prose

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This volume of Poems and Poems in Prose inaugurates the Oxford English Texts Complete Works of Oscar Wilde , which will for the first time provide students of Wilde with scholarly and textually accurate texts of his complete oeuvre. In it, Bobby Fong and Karl Beckson provide reliable texts of all Wilde's poems and poems in prose, including 21 never published in his lifetime, together with information on the locations of extant manuscripts; bibliogaphical details of each poem's publishing history; commentaries that identify and clarify contexts and allusions to figures and events; and emendations and variant readings, in manuscripts and printed editions, which illuminate Wilde's craftsmanship in revising. The variety of poetic forms in Wilde's 199 poems-from his earliest known verse, written while a student at Oxford, to his final masterpiece, The Ballad of Reading Gaol-reveals a versatility and accomplishment that previously has often been overlooked. Many of the poems, most of which were written before Wilde achieved fame, express themes developed in his later work in prose and drama, pointing to a continuity now perceived by critics. This new edition includes an informative introduction by Ian Small, one of the general editors of the Complete Works, which provides the historical context for an understanding of Wilde's career, information about the conditions surrounding the publication of his poetry, and insight into the current resurgence of scholarly interest in the man and his writing. Publication of the Complete Works will confirm Wilde's centrality in the development of early Modernism towards the end of the nineteenth century.