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Oscar Wilde:  In Earnest and Out

By Emily Martin
Iowa City, Iowa: Emily Martin, 2020. Edition of 25.

13 x 9.25". Five volvelles. Letterpress printed using polymer plates on different shades of BFK paper. Each volvelle laid in paper folder. Enclosed in a cloth covered clamshell box. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Naughty Dog Press: "A set of five volvelles portraying five faces of Oscar Wilde backing five faces of characters from Wilde’s play 'The Importance of Being Earnest'. The inner wheels turn to allow the reading of lines from the play and other of Wilde’s writings."

Emily Martin, YouTube video introduction: "I became aware of Oscar Wilde in college when we studied him. He was celebrated in his time in the late eighteen-hundreds as a writer of all sorts in particular as a playwright. He was at the height of his celebrity when he was accused of being a sodomite. Sued and not only lost the suit but then was convicted for committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons under section 11 of the 1885 of the criminal law amendment act. And this act was not fully repealed in England until 2003.

"'The Importance of Being Earnest' was one of his famous important plays. It is social commentary and very witty. It has a number of characters who trade lines with each other throughout the play. This artist's book is a series of volvelles in which Oscar and five of the characters from his play have a dialogue of sorts using lines from the play and Oscar's lines are all from other of his writings.

"Oscar Wilde served two years in prison. He emerged in broken health, impoverished, and cut off from his family. He exiled himself to France and died three years later in November 1900. His plays have never been out of print and are regularly staged in theatrical productions and films. Oscar Wilde's pointed observations are as apt now as when he first put pen to

Oscar Wilde: In Earnest and Out

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