Sunday, November 28, 2021

Dancing With Salome - Nina Antonia

Wormwood contributor Nina Antonia earlier explored the life and work of Decadent poet Lionel Johnson, and has now published a book about “the dark magic of the 1890s”. Dancing with Salome – Courting the Uncanny with Oscar Wilde and Friends, is a collection of interlinked essays on Oscar Wilde, Lord Alfred Douglas and the fin-de-siecle period, with a particular focus on the esoteric.

This new publication “unmasks the occult aspects of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, while exploring how the unseen manifested not just in the author’s life but in that of his love interest, Lord Alfred Douglas”. It notes that Aubrey Beardsley would not have Wilde’s books in his rooms because he sensed there was a curse upon them, and investigates the origins of this sense of a doom upon Wilde. The book also discusses the mingling of eroticism and mysticism that pervaded the Decadent movement, and traces the influence of the Order of the Golden Dawn.


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