The Critical Writings of Oscar Wilde is the fifth in Nicholas Frankel’s series of annotated editions of Wilde for Harvard University Press.1 Some of its contents seem more like journalism than criticism properly so called, and Frankel admits in his introduction that “there may be something arbitrary” about his selection, but he rightly points out that “Wilde extended criticism into forms—the dialogue, the epigram, the personal letter—which aren’t generally associated today with critical thought.” (Unfortunately, that goes for a good deal of criticism these days too.) What unifies the selection, Frankel claims, is Wilde’s “fierce engagement with the...


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