“Pictures of Dorian Gray: Oscar Wilde in Weimar Germany” Talk by Dr. Yvonne Ivory

Thursday March 23 at 3:30pm PT.

Dr.Yvonne Ivory

This event will be held in person and via Zoom. Register here.

Location of the talk is here, Buchanan Tower, Room 323, 1873 East Mall, Vancouver, BC | V6T 1Z1


“Pictures of Dorian Gray: Oscar Wilde in Weimar Germany” Talk by Dr. Yvonne Ivory



After his death in 1900, Irish author Oscar Wilde became a cult figure in the German-speaking world. He had his fans among anarchists, individualists, socialists, aesthetes, expressionists, and, especially, in the queer community. Some celebrated his life and mourned his martyrdom; others took up a mode of homage preferred by Wilde himself, and let his work inspire their own new creations. This talk will explore how some Germans reimagined The Picture of Dorian Gray from the end of Great War into the Golden Twenties. How might the lost 1917 film Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray relate to the first gay movie Anders als die Anderen (1919)? Does Franz Schreker’s risqué 1918 opera Die Gezeichneten—a smash hit in its day—owe a debt to Wilde’s novel? And what’s behind the name of Berlin’s lesbian nightclub, the “Café Dorian Gray”? Find out in this survey of just some of the German Pictures of Dorian Gray.



Dr. Ivory’s work revolves around cultural interactions between German-speaking and English-speaking Europeans at the turn of the 20th century. Her first book, The Homosexual Revival of Renaissance Style, 1850-1930, examined how British, Irish, and German sexual dissidents looked to the Italian Renaissance to understand their identities. She has also published on aestheticism, on the early German gay rights movement, and on Oscar Wilde’s 1895 scandal in the German press; and has articles forthcoming on competing 1907 Viennese stagings of The Picture of Dorian Grayand on the meaning of Decadence for the German actress Gertrud Eysoldt. Ivory’s current project examines how Wilde and his works were reimagined by German and Austrian composers, artists, playwrights, dancers, and directors before 1939; it contends that Wildean Decadence haunts German Modernism. She is also co-editor with Prof. Joseph Bristow and Dr. Rebecca Mitchell of Wilde’s incomplete and unpublished writings for Oxford UP’s Complete Works of Oscar Wilde; in this context, she is creating authoritative editions of Wilde’s dramatic fragments “La Sainte Courtisane,” “A Florentine Tragedy,” and “The Cardinal of Avignon.”

Dr. Ivory teaches German language, literature, and culture at all levels at UofSC; her topics courses have included “Berlin: Topographies of the Twentieth Century,” “The Novels of Thomas Mann,” “An Introduction to German Culture,” “German Literature 1890-1945,” “The City in Literature,” and “The Decadent Movement in Europe.”