Green flowers and golden eyes

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This article investigates the intertextual and thematic links of Wilde’s Salome with French Romantic and Decadent literature. Its primary focus is on the possible connection between the play and two of Balzac’s novellas, Séraphîta and La Fille aux yeux d’or. There are explicit references to the latter text in Salome, but the main link between them is a shared concern with sexuality and gender. Themes like androgyny, incest, homo- and bisexuality recur in them, as does the symbol of the green flower, in order to question what is “natural”. Gautier, Baudelaire and Huysmans also contribute to this intertext; but in the last analysis Wilde is selective and quite independent of his predecessors.


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