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Whispers of the Unspeakable: New York and Montreal Newspaper Coverage of the Oscar Wilde Trials in 1895

  • Author(s): Robinson, Greg
  • et al.
Abstract

Greg Robinson’s article “Whispers of the Unspeakable: New York and Montreal Newspaper Coverage of the Oscar Wilde Trials in 1895,” originally published in 2010 in the French-language journal Rue des Beaux Arts, no. 24 (2010), is here republished and—with much gratitude—translated (for the original text, please see http://www.oscholars.com/RBA/twenty-four/24.7/Articles.htm). Robinson’s transnational study focuses on how reading the specific language of newspaper reports of the Oscar Wilde case, literally from a distance, from places less emotionally attached to and nationally distinct from the scandal’s epicenter in London, England, provides insight into “the state of everyday public knowledge and discussion of (homo)sexuality, at least west of the Atlantic”; thus Robinson’s fascinating research, which involves numerous newspapers—from the elite New York Times to the New York Herald, from the Montreal Daily Star to the French-language papers of Quebec—concludes that the popular press, read transnationally, offers key insights into the developing attitudes toward and levels of interest in the newly forming identity of the “homosexual” across societies.

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