Truly Wilde: The Unsettling Story Of Dolly Wilde, Oscar's

Truly Wilde: The Unsettling Story Of Dolly Wilde, Oscar's
    Truly Wilde: The Unsettling Story Of Dolly Wilde, Oscar's interesting women and men Attracting people of taste and talent wherever she went, she drenched her prodigious talents in liquids and chemicals, burnt up her opportunities in flamboyant affairs, and created continuous sensations by the ways in which she seemed to be re living the life of her infamous uncle In this revolutionary and very modern biography, Joan Schenkar provides a fascinating look at what it means to live with the talents but not the achievements of biography s usual subjects those obliterating winners like Dolly s uncle Oscar whose stories have almost erased riveting histories like Dolly s own And she uncovers never before published evidence of the hidden life of the Wilde family and of the extraordinary salon society of Natalie Clifford Barney, Dolly Wilde s longest and most fatal attachment."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 400 pages
  • Truly Wilde: The Unsettling Story Of Dolly Wilde, Oscar's Unusual Niece
  • Joan Schenkar
  • English
  • 15 June 2017
  • 0465087728

Truly Wilde: The Unsettling Story Of Dolly Wilde, Oscar's Unusual Niece➳ [Reading] ➶ Truly Wilde: The Unsettling Story Of Dolly Wilde, Oscar's Unusual Niece By Joan Schenkar ➩ – Essayreview.co.uk A born writer who never completed the creative life promised by her famous name and gorgeous imagination, Dolly Wilde was charged with charm, brilliantly witty, changeable as refracting light, and loa A born writer who never The Unsettling PDF Å completed the creative life promised by her famous name and gorgeous imagination, Truly Wilde: PDF/EPUB or Dolly Wilde was charged with charm, brilliantly witty, changeable as refracting light, and loaded with sexual allure She Wilde: The Unsettling PDF ✓ made her career in the salons and in the bedrooms of some of London s and Paris most interesting women and men Attracting people of taste and talent wherever she went, she drenched her prodigious talents in liquids and chemicals, burnt up her opportunities in flamboyant affairs, and created continuous sensations by the ways in which she seemed to be re living the life of her infamous uncle In this revolutionary and very modern biography, Joan Schenkar provides a fascinating look at what it means to live with the talents but not the achievements of biography s usual subjects those obliterating winners like Dolly s uncle Oscar whose stories have almost erased riveting histories like Dolly s own And she uncovers never before published evidence of the hidden life of the Wilde family and of the extraordinary salon society of Natalie Clifford Barney, Dolly Wilde s longest and most fatal attachment.


About the Author: Joan Schenkar

JOAN SCHENKAR has been called The Unsettling PDF Å America s most original female contemporary playwright TRULY WILDE, her biography of Truly Wilde: PDF/EPUB or Oscar s interesting niece Dolly Wilde, was hailed as a revelation, the great story of a life and Wilde: The Unsettling PDF ✓ of the creation of modern culture THE TALENTED MISS HIGHSMITH has already been acclaimed as the definitive Highsmith biographyAs a child actor in Seattle, Schenkar made many television and stage appearances one of them was with Everett Edward Horton and was a touring member of the corps de ballet of The Cornish Ballet Company She wrote her first play while living in The Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan The recipient ofthan forty grants, fellowships, and awards for her comedies of menace including seven National Endowment for the Arts grants , Schenkar has been reviewed in every major and many minor newspaper in the English speaking theatre world She has been playwright in residence in universities, artists colonies, as well as in such experimental theatre companies as Joseph Chaikin s Winter Project, The Polish Laboratory Theatre, and The Minnesota Opera New Music Theatre Ensemble She is an alumna of New Dramatists, and a current member of The Authors Guild, Societe des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques, PEN, The Dramatists Guild, and The Bront Society She was founder and artistic director of Force Majeure Productions in New York City The London theatre company, SIGNS OF LIFE THEATRE, was named after her play and a road in Pownal, Vermont has been named after her She has an ABD in English and American literature and aestheticsHer published plays include one of the most widely produced and studied plays in the history of theatre written by women, SIGNS OF LIFE She has hadthan five hundred productions of her work on stage, radio, and video, including the following plays CABIN FEVER, SIGNS OF LIFE, THE LODGER, BUCKS AND DOES, MR MONSTER, THE LAST OF HITLER, BETWEEN THE ACTS, HUNTING DOWN THE SEXES, FULFILLING KOCH S POSTULATE, FAMILY PRIDE IN THE s, FIRE IN THE FUTURE, THE UNIVERSAL WOLF, BURNING DESIRESFeature articles about JOAN SCHENKAR s work have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times,The Village Voice, The Washington Post, The Denver Post, and The Seattle Post Intelligencer She is the subject of articles and interviews in such scholarly and theatrical journals as TDR, Theatre Journal, PAJ, Modern Drama, Women and Performance, Michigan Quarterly Review, Studies in American Drama, Alternatives Theatrales, and Feminist Re visions Her short stories have been published in several anthologiesGNS OF LIFE Six Comedies of Menace, a collection of her plays, was published in and was a Wesleyan University Press best seller TRULY WILDE the unsettling story of Dolly Wilde, Oscar s unusual niece was published by Basic Books Perseus in New York, Virago Press Little Brown in London and RandomHouse Mondadori in Barcelona in and and was a finalist for The Lamda Literary Award Her latest work a literary biography of Patricia Highsmith, THE TALENTED MISS HIGHSMITH The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith has just been published by St Martin s Press New York , and will be published by Diogenes Verlag Zurich , and Circe Press Barcelona in AN SCHENKAR lives and writes in Paris and Greenwich Village.


10 thoughts on “Truly Wilde: The Unsettling Story Of Dolly Wilde, Oscar's Unusual Niece

  1. says:

    I ve returned to this book several times over the years Ever since I first read this, I have been captivated by the life of Dolly Wilde and this book captured the personality of a person of who so few things are really known that I find that alone remarkable She was fascinating and tragic An artist of the spoken word who in another era might have become a public figure worshiped like Margaret Cho or other witty women She was involved in the Natalie Clifford Barney salon of the 1920s in Paris I ve returned to this book several times over the years Ever since I first read this, I have been captivated by the life of Dolly Wilde and this book captured the personality of a person of who so few things are really known that I find that alone remarkable She was fascinating and tragic An artist of the spoken word who in another era might have become a public figure worshiped like Margaret Cho or other witty women She was involved in the Natalie Clifford Barney salon of the 1920s in Paris as well as the decadent and bitchy lesbian scene that revolved around it She was in many ways the female, lesbian, flapper version of her decadent uncle and died a similar tragic death in her mid 40s

  2. says:

    This book about a fascinating life that went noticed but unrecorded gets five stars from me as a writer, on the merits of its bold, experimental structure and style which Dolly Wilde would have taken seriously That shows a respect for the subject, combined with a gutsiness, that is to the biographer s credit.As a reader, I rate it differently This review explains why.The biographer was clearly in service to the subject in a way muchprofound than one reviewer here dismissed when calling This book about a fascinating life that went noticed but unrecorded gets five stars from me as a writer, on the merits of its bold, experimental structure and style which Dolly Wilde would have taken seriously That shows a respect for the subject, combined with a gutsiness, that is to the biographer s credit.As a reader, I rate it differently This review explains why.The biographer was clearly in service to the subject in a way muchprofound than one reviewer here dismissed when calling the book a glorified obituary Her service to the reader is also to be taken seriously, but it will not always be appreciated, as I try to explain below.I like Jesse Kornbluth s very positive review dealing mostly with who Dolly was and why we should carethe one that turned up on my Kindle when I downloaded this book But I wasn t able to find it onIf you can find it, you might enjoy that review.Another element worthy of praise is the novelistic one Novelistic passages in biography are always bad unless the author lives and breathes with her subject They get worse when the author clearly doesn t understand her subject or its milieu Later, they can become downright embarrassing if or when it becomes clear that the biographer gets facts wrong, misses key facts, or has perhaps through no fault of her own been prevented from knowing them This is a case where hidden facts do, in fact, affect the life story Schenkar set out to tell What s remarkable is, this biography does not suffer very much from it, and again, I credit the author s talent She was able to plumb the depths of her subject and get it right even with few facts at her disposal This biographer clearly lived, breathed and understood her subject As a result, passages like this are not only fun to read, but they are true Before falling in love with Natalie Barney, Dolly had been able to forget herself whenever she wanted So why do you see three stars at the top of my review Well I ve only given Sybille Bedford s best novel four stars, which shows either that a I have no idea how to rate good reads or b I am trying my best to weigh my experience properly for this forum, knowing that writers read differently than readers who don t write And although well worth it, and in spite of the delightful rive gauche walk through Paris that Schenkar opens the book with I really felt I was walking alongside Dolly, fresh as a daisy, what an unforgettable stroll , this wasn t an easy biography to read.Do you know the expression, A man s man Well, in her milieu between the wars, Dolly Wilde was a woman s woman Arresting, irresistible, scintillating, attention getting and jealousy producing.In the spirit of her subject, Schenkar has delivered a biographer s biography Yes, it s about someone you ll never forget Someone you won t be able to read about elsewhere But it is experimental, like its subject herself The book is actually bum s out the window, risk takingly experimental, as my university mentor would say It dispenses with chronology in lieu of taking a thematic approach, and it is uniquely inventive It dares to publish a palmist s reading of Wilde s hand, for instance, which the author has been ridiculed for But the decision is as internally consistent as it is entertaining Besides, Schenkar s subjects all indulged in as much palmistry as possible Pun fully intended The best biographers reject no workable material I know of writers going much further afield than the psychic for analysis The crticism of Schenkar in this regard is hypocritical if you truly appreciate the art and craft of life writing If you don t and you just want a straightforward read, then this book won t be for you It teaches you as much about writing and reading for better or for worse, in sickness and in health as it teaches about the subject It is designed and built by a seriously clever mind And that is rare these days.And then there s Dolly Wilde Less of an enigma, perhaps, to us than she was to those who loved her excepting Honey Harris, who steals all her scenes under Schenkar s deft treatment of Harris s friendship with Wilde Maybe we are the first generation to really get Dolly, now that there s been a Bowlby and an attachment theoryand the novels of Edward St Aubynand now that most of us know or can learn about the realities of drug dependency and heroin addiction I recently re read, in Richard Ellman s standard Wilde biography, Robbie Ross s terrible, moving account of the last hours and minutes of the life of Oscar Wilde, and it struck me how similar his death was to his niece s in key respects Both were painful and undignified Both took place in hotel rooms Both died penniless But Oscar Wilde died in the care of a man who loved him Dolly Wilde died alone or else she was left for dead.Dolly Wilde s unfulfilled promise seems legitimately artistic today We understand, now, what Lady Slane felt alone in understanding in All Passion Spent Artists of appreciation are no less gifted than artists of achievement Natalie Barney herself aimed to make her life into a poem Dolly Wilde actually did it Well Barney would say, wary of sharing the limelight, perhaps But they were different poems Indeed Wilde s omitted the laundry lists, the itineraries, the hotel bills, the thank you notes.In any case I read Wilde s life as less of a failure than it seemed at the time to Natalie or Janet Flanner or Lily de Gramont, to take three women who apparently appreciated and or loved and were flummoxed by Dolly.As a reader, I kept wishing I could have spenttime with her during the horrors of war, when she clearly came into her own I admit, however, to a failure of imagination where Toughie Carstairs is concerned How did those two ever get together So much of what happened during wartime, as much if notas what had gone before, might have lifted some of the mistthe mystery that Dolly remains because of gaps in the record that even Schenkar, with her forensic gifts, could not fill.What we get with Truly Wilde, in the end, is a glimpse into the future of biography, just as we get in books by Diana Souhami, who, since her own book about Dolly and her milieu, Wild Girls, has started to incorporate fiction to flesh out meaning where a credible and thorough biographer cannot fill crucial gaps in the historical record It makes me wonder what materials future biographers will be working with Or even presenting.In the future, will we still reckon intellectual, and to some extent cultural, history knowing that many key players lived noticed but unrecorded lives Won t television, film, internet and radio capture and memorialize all but the most reclusive literary, musical, artistic and conversational geniuses even the girlfriends, the boyfriends and the young suicides like Elliot Smith Won t future biographers know muchabout minor thinkers and talkers and performers like Fran Liebowitz, John Waters, Susan Sontag, Candace Bergen, Carrie Fisher, Margaret Cho, Gore Vidal and so many others who make major contributions but do not did not produce enough books, plays or films to satisfy accepted criteria for a productive artist of major rank I wonder Take this example of how Truly Wilde stays with me Somebody just sent me a weblink to Rory Kennedy s filmed conversation with her cousin s aunt, Lee Radziwill, and I was riveted Lee Radziwill no rebel, she No intellect of the first order Hardly Yet it was the radical, practiced artistry that Radziwill invested in her spoken words something Kennedy knew how to bring out it was her conversation, that caught me and held me Kennedy had searched for and captured something I hadn t expected, something I don t see or hear in the general media something that only gifted biographers usually capture It wasn t a fact or a topic It was an atmosphere And it carried the faintest scent of the atmosphere that Schenkar has also captured, however fleetingly, around the radical Dolly Wilde Kennedy s filmed chat with Radziwill was it biography the kind of biography of Wilde as a scintillating conversationalist that we wish Schenkar could have offered up alongside the palmist s reading as proof of life Or is the perfect interview merely a document, a tool of biography to be interpreted Will we have , or fewer, of these rare, captured moments on film that reveal entire characters and outlooks in a gesture, a glance, a tossed off remark, a refusal to answer Or was the Kennedy interview a fluke, and will these revelations remain largely the domain of talented authors biographers and novelists One thing s for sure The camera will still miss many worthy lesbian subjects, particularly from privileged backgrounds who guard their privacy I am not sure how that gap will ever be bridged For cultural icons in the era before television, at least we have Joan Schenkar, who has given us Dolly Wilde

  3. says:

    Pale lunar enchantress You compel my imagination, make turmoil of my thoughts and every night I miss your lover s attentions what else is love Dorothy Wilde for Natalie Barney I am really happy the internet helped me find out about Dolly Wilde, an extraordinary and fascinating and also tragic figure of queer and cultural history When Dolly was 19 she sent her parents a telegram saying she d go sailing Instead she took off with a group of female ambulance drivers on their way to the WPale lunar enchantress You compel my imagination, make turmoil of my thoughts and every night I miss your lover s attentions what else is love Dorothy Wilde for Natalie Barney I am really happy the internet helped me find out about Dolly Wilde, an extraordinary and fascinating and also tragic figure of queer and cultural history When Dolly was 19 she sent her parents a telegram saying she d go sailing Instead she took off with a group of female ambulance drivers on their way to the World War 1 battle fields of France She lived with 4 women in an apartment in Paris and formed an all female ambulance unit.I repeat With 19 she just took off to go to war in another country.This is the kind of thing I m LIVING forI amlike Oscar than OscarAnd honestly yea, I get why.Dolly s life was in a lot of ways a mirror of the way her famous uncle lived and even tho she didn t have to face the social injustice and punishment Oscar endured for his love life, Dolly s last years were filled with tragedy just the same.She was a lot of things A socialite and salonni re A femme de lettre who didn t write but knew to entertain A woman who spent most of her life loving a woman she would never be the first choice for An addict who was always chasing a way to tame her consciousness.A woman who might have influenced the lives of the many famous artists she knew like Gertrude Stein, Natalie Barney, Radclyffe Hall, Virginia Woolf without leaving as much of a mark on the world as she deserved I mean come on, she flirted with the wife of F Scott FitzgeraldShe would always be in the odd position of a women who loved women but whose name would always be linked with a manThe structure of this book biography was pretty confusing at times and I would have liked itif it would have beenchronological But the information gathered about different aspects of Dolly s life is extensive, so it makes up for it I m also happy that even tho Dolly used her wit in public speaking and never published anything, through her letters I still got to experience some of the way she thought, talked and presented herselfI am off to the uncomprehending world, powdered, painted armed with wit

  4. says:

    Dear Joan Schenkar,believe it or not, people who read biographies do anticipate a certain amount of imagining how things were You don t need to tell us about it at length over and over again The life of Dolly Wilde seems like it is full and fascinating lesbians, famous relatives, bewitching beauty and an unexplained death How you ve managed to make that boring is beyond me, but you sure did Better luck next time.

  5. says:

    This is a weird, somewhat interesting, but mostly tedious and almost surreal book about Dolly Wilde, Oscar Wilde s niece The author seems infatuated with her and has written hundreds of pages describing the possibilities of her wit and intellect where, in fact, she appears to have never done anything except run around with the fast crowd of Paris and London in the 20 s, 30 s oh and she was one of Natalie Barney s lovers in competition with Romaine Brooks so that s interesting, of course, but This is a weird, somewhat interesting, but mostly tedious and almost surreal book about Dolly Wilde, Oscar Wilde s niece The author seems infatuated with her and has written hundreds of pages describing the possibilities of her wit and intellect where, in fact, she appears to have never done anything except run around with the fast crowd of Paris and London in the 20 s, 30 s oh and she was one of Natalie Barney s lovers in competition with Romaine Brooks so that s interesting, of course, but the lengthy analyses of Dolly s addictions and unhappiness and unproductive life proved quite tedious for me after awhile I kept reading because I kept thinking there must be somethingto the book but, when I finished, I realized that there was not

  6. says:

    Dorothy Dolly Wilde Oscar Wilde s niece was intelligent, witty, and enchanting, dying exactly as she had lived vividly, rather violently, and at a very good address She attracted people of wealth, taste, and talent as she burned up her opportunities in flamboyant lesbian affairs and numerous addictions She seemed to be re living the life of her infamous uncle interesting biography of an interesting individual, unfortunately poorly written

  7. says:

    This was a fascinating biography Schenkar writes of these women differently than Faderman or other writers you won t feel depths of political consciousness here or at the very least any sense of it is subdued and subtle but rather like a storyteller The writing is fluid, and through much of it she captivates and lets you feel as if your in on a secret rather than just reading an academic text She has a wonderful sense of humor calling Barney the least monogamous and Dolly Barney s seco This was a fascinating biography Schenkar writes of these women differently than Faderman or other writers you won t feel depths of political consciousness here or at the very least any sense of it is subdued and subtle but rather like a storyteller The writing is fluid, and through much of it she captivates and lets you feel as if your in on a secret rather than just reading an academic text She has a wonderful sense of humor calling Barney the least monogamous and Dolly Barney s second best and most troublesome lover Dolly Wilde wasn t necessarily always very likable always a train wreck , but she was interesting and relatable in a tragic way The only thing that I dislike about it is that it could have beenconcise since some areas were painfully repetitive

  8. says:

    A random used bookstore find comes through with the good gossip.

  9. says:

    I expected to love this book I am obsessed with Oscar Wilde and was ecstatic to find out that he had a lesbian niece living in 1920s Paris But Joan Schenkar is obviously not a non fiction writer and ruins her account of this fascinating woman s life by indulging in flowery language, hyperbole, supposition, and jumbled, disorienting storytelling Nonetheless, this book is still a valuable resource for any Wilde lover from the bits you can glean through the overwrought, over long prose the time I expected to love this book I am obsessed with Oscar Wilde and was ecstatic to find out that he had a lesbian niece living in 1920s Paris But Joan Schenkar is obviously not a non fiction writer and ruins her account of this fascinating woman s life by indulging in flowery language, hyperbole, supposition, and jumbled, disorienting storytelling Nonetheless, this book is still a valuable resource for any Wilde lover from the bits you can glean through the overwrought, over long prose the timeline of Dolly s life, quotes from her letters, photographs, and details from interviews by the author

  10. says:

    incredible story of Wilde s niece and the Natalie Barney salon in Paris between the wars

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