Tag Archive for: oscar wilde

Victorian Rebel: Aubrey Beardsley

Polari’s August Bona-nza: Against the Grain.

Paul Smith considers the art of Aubrey Beardsley, who delighted in a sense of demonic mischief and dared to push against the boundaries of Victorian England.

“It was his bold interpretation of Oscar Wilde’s Salome that brought him huge acclaim with naked demonic hermaphrodites, deformed dwarfs and malevolent women with evil smeared on their lips.”

Fanny and Stella: An Interview with Neil McKenna

The Young Men Who Shocked Victoria England.

Neil McKenna talks about the case of Fanny and Stella, which revealed a hidden underworld of female impersonators and male prostitutes.

” It is significant that the Fanny and Stella trial was in 1870. It is significant that the police and the state cracked down on sexual identity. It was the manifestation of Fanny and Stella’s identity that was the problem as well as their behaviour.”

LGBT History Month Heroes – Day 5

Oscar Wilde, by Neil McKenna.

To celebrate LGBT History Month, 2013, Polari is publishing a daily series of LGBT Heroes, selected by the magazine’s team of writers and special contributors.

“Oscar Wilde was my introduction to my own cultural history. There was precious little else in those days. It was as if our lives and our histories had been expunged from the records, which in a very real sense they had. “

Polari HQ • What Did We See in 2012?


Polari asked writers what they saw in 2012. From The Judas Kiss to Lincoln.

“Polari asked writers what they saw in 2012. From The Judas Kiss to Lincoln.”

Happy 4th Birthday to Polari


Polari turns 4 today. It’s about to turn yet another corner, writes the editor, and reinvent its mission to explore the LGBT subculture.

“For the last 4 years, Polari has been run as a voluntary community project built from love and a lot of hard work. We are now a Community Interest Company.”

Abominable Voices

A History of Newspaper Homophobia.

Paul Baker looks at the history of homophobia in the British press.

“Although the name-calling has largely disappeared, the negative attitudes took longer to shift, and the newspapers more narrowly focused their ire on ‘the gay lobby’ who kept demanding bizarre and unreasonable things like the right to fight for their country, or have their relationships acknowledged.”

Key Dates in Queer History

Key Dates in the Queer Calendar

As LGBT History Month 2012 ends Tim Bennett-Goodman takes a sideways look at queer history.

“To my mind, modern queer history, in the British Isles and Ireland at least, begins in 1885 with the Criminal Law Amendment Act, and most particularly the pernicious Section 11 or Labouchere Amendment (named after the MP who introduced it) designed to prosecute male homosexuals for acts of ‘gross indecency’.”

An interview with Jonathan Kemp

An in-depth conversation with Jonathan Kemp about his novel London Triptych.

Polari Magazine talks writing, Oscar Wilde and pornography with Jonathan Kemp on the eve of the publication of London Triptych, his debut novel.

It was very important to me that it was if not sexy then at least sexual. And sexual in a very different way, one that wasn’t necessarily pornographic.

The Picture of Dorian Gray • Oscar Wilde

212 pages • Ward, Lock, and Company • 1891

This classic book starts out well enough but Wilde looses control of the plot as it meanders toward its conclusion.

The Picture of Dorian Gray is an acknowledged classic in the canon of English literature. Reading it through one has to wonder why. It is not so much the book itself but the associations with the book’s author, his history.

A Perfect Waiter • AC Sulzer

224 pages • Bloomsbury • January 19th, 2009 [PB]

From the pre-World War II era to the 1960s, this distinctively European novel tells the story of the amoral Jakob.

“His way of moving, speaking, and daydreaming – to Erneste, everything about him seemed utterly superlative. There was nothing to prevent him becoming the perfect waiter.”.