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Abstract

In his article "Wilde and the Model of Homosexuality in Mann's Der Tod in Venedig" James P. Wilper examines the influence of Oscar Wilde and the effeminate homosexual identity which cohered as a result of Wilde's trials for act of "gross indecency" in 1895, in Mann's classic homoerotic short novel. Drawing on Alan Sinfield's The Wilde Century (1994) and recent scholarship into the impact of Wilde on German-language writers, as well as German homosexual communities of the early twentieth century, Wilper explores Mann's ambivalent response to Wilde's homosexual legacy. Later in his career, Mann writes of Wilde with Nietzsche as "rebels in the name of beauty" against the hypocrisy of Victorian middle-class morality and that Mann's view is prefigured, although ambivalently, in his treatment of aestheticism, dandyism, effeminacy, and same-sex desire in Der Tod in Venedig.