The Fin-de-siècle Poem

Friday, February 8, 2002–Saturday, February 9, 2002
All Day

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street

—a conference organized by Joseph Bristow, University of California, Los Angeles

In recent years the Clark Library, which holds a capacious archive of materials relating to the life and work of Oscar Wilde, including a large number of printed sources—particularly volumes of poetry-from the Victorian fin de siècle—has hosted five conferences focusing attention on these significant holdings. “The Fin-de-Siècle Poem” brings together nine invited speakers whose current scholarship elucidates our understanding of poetry produced in England during the 1880s and 1890s. The aim of the conference is to explore poems by writers who had some direct or indirect connection with Wilde. Further, the conference provides the opportunity to evaluate Wilde’s own poetic achievements—particularly in light of the definitive edition of his poems that recently appeared from Oxford University Press. The conference includes discussion of poems by authors who have received increasing critical attention among Victorianists. In this regard, women writers such as Rosamond Marriott Watson (“Graham R. Tomson”), A. Mary F. Robinson, Michael Field, and Amy Levy come to mind. Likewise, the works of the “Uranian” poets, such as Marc-André Raffalovich, Alfred Douglas, John Gray, and Theodore Wratislaw, have been the subject of recent inquiries into the literature of male homoeroticism. In addition, the conference offers a forum for debating the poetry of imperialist and decadent writers such as W. E. Henley, Rudyard Kipling, Ernest Dowson, and Lionel Johnson—figures who provide important points of comparison and contrast to Wilde.