Carnivals in Venice: The hoaxing of Theophile Gautier

Mark W. Rowe

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Gautier published his poem, “Variations sur le carnaval de Venise” in the Revue des deux Mondes on April 15, 1849, and reprinted a lightly revised version in his collection Émaux et Camées [Enamels and Cameos] in 1852. No nineteenth-century French poem has had a more striking influence on English literature. Browning liked it so much he based both “A Toccata of Galuppi’s” and a segment of Fifine at the Fair on the ground plan of Gautier’s poem. And eighteen years later, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde quotes three and a half stanzas from “Variations”, and has Dorian remark, “How exquisite they were! […] The whole of Venice was in those […] lines.”
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-332
Number of pages11
JournalLiterary Imagination
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

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