Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde by Moisés Kaufman Online

Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde
Title : Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780375702327
Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 160

Winner of the Lambda Literary Award In this stunning work of theater, Moises Kaufman turns the trials of Oscar Wilde into a riveting human and intellectual drama. In April 1895 Oscar Wilde brought a libel suit against the Marquess of Queensberry, the father of his youthful lover, who had publicly maligned him as a sodomite. In doing so, England's reigning man of letters seWinner of the Lambda Literary Award In this stunning work of theater, Moises Kaufman turns the trials of Oscar Wilde into a riveting human and intellectual drama. In April 1895 Oscar Wilde brought a libel suit against the Marquess of Queensberry, the father of his youthful lover, who had publicly maligned him as a sodomite. In doing so, England's reigning man of letters set in motion a series of events that would culminate in his ruin and imprisonment. For within a year the bewildered Wilde himself was on trial for acts of "gross indecency" and, implicitly for a vision of art that outraged Victorian propriety. Expertly interweaving courtroom testimony with excerpts from Wilde's writings and the words of his contemporaries, Gross Indecency unveils its subject in all his genius and human frailty, his age in all its complacency and repression. The result is a play that will be read and studied for decades to come."


Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde Reviews

  • Chris

    IF you know the history of Oscar Wilde, the question of what was he thinking doesn’t apply to his romantic affairs, but the lawsuit and following trials. Drawn from various sources, including the trial itself, Gross Indecency offers insight into a potential answer to this question. The various sources are weaved into the performance which is done in the tradition of Wilde’s wittiest plays. Well worth listening to.

  • Kyra Boisseree

    *laughs nervously* Hamlet has been my favorite play for so long that reading this has honestly given me an existential crisis about whether, when considering my favorite plays, I should put Shakespeare in his own category or not. You know. So Hamlet doesn't suddenly become #2 because HOLY SHIT THIS PLAY. I usually have trouble reading plays (I so much prefer to see them performed) but that was not a problem at all with this one. I would still love to see it performed. It has exactly the kind of [...]

  • jen

    i’m so bummed

  • J

    I read this play as part of research I am doing for a novel I'm writing. While obviously a dramatic (fictionalized) piece, it was quite useful in that it told me what I needed to know about the proceedings of a court, and about the late 19th century. A simple retelling of Wilde's trials, this is a straightforward play but one that fans of Wilde will likely enjoy. It doesn't offer anything spectacular in terms of dialogue, plot or atmosphere, but it gets the job done. Accessible, I'd call it, whi [...]

  • Maria

    I've been thinking recently that, as much as I am enjoying the deliciously summery YA fantasy novels, they aren't really giving me useful information about living me life well. I have found the love of my life, am not struggling through high school, and find it highly unlikely that I will bump into any un-dead individuals.And while, I'll keep reading though those series, I also want to make an effort to read books that speak to questions I have in my daily life. And in that sense, this play was [...]

  • Rachel C.

    This play covers three trials involving Oscar Wilde - the first was a libel suit brought by Wilde against the Marquess of Queensberry (the one who came up with the boxing rules), who was the father of Wilde's lover, Lord Alfred Douglas; the second was brought against Wilde for "gross indecency with male persons" and ended in a mistrial for a hung jury; the third was the retrial and ended with a guilty verdict and a sentence of two years imprisonment for Wilde.I was a bit distracted by Kaufman's [...]

  • Craig

    "A truth ceases to be true when more than one person believes in it."Very similar in structure to LARAMIE, Kaufman explores similar artistic representation here. Not to say it's repetitive, but it's interesting to see how Kaufman visualizes and synthesizes in similar fashions. It pushes the concept of "truth," and how very often that's a construct of mutual, subjective perspectives. One key difference here is that the pace of GROSS is much more rapid-fire than LARAMIE.Overall, the play highlight [...]

  • Rae

    This was such a fun read. Harrowing, of course, but to read Wilde's famous wit, his incredible retorts, and his amazing timing was such a pleasure.The structure of this play hits all of my hallmarks for good theatre. I love minimalist sets, I love actors being used in multiple roles, and I love walking away from a play feeling like I've learned something. This is a play I would direct in a heartbeat - the writing is so strong and the stylistic foundations the playwright has outlined are perfect. [...]

  • Elizabeth

    Review from my blog:Read all of Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde today – it was totally brilliant. I really, really liked the device of using Wilde’s own words – along with those of his contemporaries. I can’t explain precisely why that worked so well – but it does. It just made sense – made for a beautiful, fast, and very eloquent read. I’d like to read more by Moises Kaufman sometime soon.

  • Katie

    Again, I don't love reading plays. This one was an exception. Some parents (not mine) threw an absolute fit when our 11th grade English teacher presented this as required reading. Apparently high school students should be sheltered from all literature that deals with subjects that should be considered taboo. I'm really glad the teacher defended her choice all the way to the school board. She won so, in the end, the whole class won. I feel like reading this book made me a better, more rounded per [...]

  • Cassie

    I like this project for Kaufman infinitely better than The Laramie Project (sorry fans). It's not overly done, it's straightforward, it's poignant and its beautifully written. I was a bit hesitant when it was described as Brechtian, but all the styles seem to fall away once you begin reading it. The characters become actors, the actors become people. Also, it's really amusing to read it as if it's one big, long saga of a Law & Order: SVU episode. You can practically hear the "Dun dun" after [...]

  • Jill

    This is one of those plays that is SOOO much better when you experience it on stage than when you read it. Still, many happy memories from doing lights for this play at a small community theater caused me to pick it up again, and I'm glad I did. Kaufman does a great job with this collage of voices from different sources, and of course, Oscar Wilde himself is so wonderfully lyrical and artistic, and this comes through beautifully in his lines.

  • Chelsea Noble

    A fascinating look at Oscar Wilde's darkest days. If you only know him as the lighthearted, flamboyant comic who made a name for himself with such plays as "The Importance of Being Earnest" then read this play. Drawn directly from memoirs, trial minutes, and letters, it tells an intimate story of a man. Passing no judgement, it allows the reader or viewer to form his or her opinion of this man, who no one can deny was one of the greatest artists of the Modern Age.

  • Miaree

    I could go on and on, but if you know anything the works of Oscar Wilde- from poems, to essays and books, to plays, and even his often quoted quips- READ THIS PLAY! It is not like a basic play; it is driven by storytelling more than acting out events. It is a funny, moving, and informative depiction of the court cases that brought Wilde from the heights of critical and popular success to the lows of a being a convict and dying in poverty.

  • Kirsty Potter

    I think I would have preferred this if the dialogue was less convoluted and the exchange between characters more apparent - I am sure it must flow better on stage but it made for a slightly confusing read. It was an interesting insight into a trial that showed the hypocrisy of Victorian society, but I've came out of it with the same opinion I had before: Oscar Wilde was fantastic and didn't deserve any of this shit.

  • Jeannie Zeck

    This was an intense presentation of the three trials focusing on Wilde's sexual experiences with younger men. I learned a lot about Wilde himself, about the era, and about the origin of the idea of an individual being a homosexual. It's a worthwhile read; written in the style of documentary theater.

  • Reem Sahlol

    I have known the basics of Oscar Wilde's trials but this play of Wilde's past just brings it to life. Wilde's past is, in every sense of the word, interesting. His courage amazes me. I highly recommend this book to every one who has the slightest interest in sodomy within the Victorian era or Wilde himself.

  • Lexi

    *3.5/5 starsFor being a book that I read for class, I enjoyed this. The language is certainly much easier to follow than the last few plays I've read (given that they were all Shakespeare) and I think there's a lot that can be learned from this play about morality, art, and the state of the justice system. I also definitely have a lot more interest in the life of Oscar Wilde after reading this.

  • Carly

    So fascinating! As a fan of both classic literature and the true-crime genre, I really enjoyed reading this one. A great way to learn about Oscar Wilde's life in an interesting way. The author seamlessly blends his fictionalized account with actual primary sources. A really great way to write historical fiction.

  • Amy

    I would love to see a production. It has the touches of Moises Kaufmann which have become familiar to me since I co-directed The Laramie Project a couple of years ago, but this script is a little more streamlined, with fewer characters and locations. I was reminded of a production of Diversions and Delights - Vincent Price's one-man show as Oscar Wilde - which I saw in the late '70s.

  • Susanna

    This is a dramatic rendering of the life of Wilde. I'm not a fan at all of Wilde's work, but his story is absolutely fascinating. This was an artistic, historically accurate, very interesting play. I would love to have the opportunity to see it performed.

  • Bobby Sullivan

    Very sad play, based on accounts of the trials of Oscar Wilde. Even though Wilde died alone and in poverty, it's gratifying that his literary genius hasn't been forgotten. Strange, his life and tragic end remind me a bit of Alan Turing.

  • Bonnie

    Brilliantly constructed play on a hard topic. Makes you think, definitely an excellent read. Would love to see it performed.

  • Katie

    I got a lot of information--but not artistic pleasure-- out of reading this play.

  • Tatiana

    moises kaufman is brilliant.

  • Kathryn

    Brilliant, a little too Brechtian for my tastes at points, but emotional and evocative. With the right actor playing Wilde this could be amazing theater.