Information about the author:
Tatiana A. Boborykina
Tatiana A. Boborykina, PhD in Philology, Associate Professor, Senior Lecturer, St. Petersburg State University, Universitetskaya Emb. 7–9, 199034 St. Petersburg, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8661-3435
The novelty of the survey lies primarily in the very conjunction of two names — the apostle of “art for art’s sake” Oscar Wilde and the master of portraying life and manners of Russian merchantry, Alexander Ostrovsky. Such parallel may seem strange, though in the oeuvre of both writers there are undiscovered areas of mutual attraction. It is known that Ostrovsky expressed interest in England, as well as Russian motif can be observed in Wilde’s writings, and one may find points of their realms intersection in both Shakespeare and Dostoevsky. Besides in their mutual area — dramaturgy — there may also be discovered certain convergence. It is known that the basis of Wilde’s comedies is melodrama. Though irony, ingenious dialogues, verbal paradoxes and unexpected plot twists blow up the didactics of the genre from inside leading those plays closer to new intellectual drama. One of Ostrovsky’s plays — “Guilty without Guilt” is as well traditionally ascribed to melodrama, whereas it ends up with an almost Wildean witty paradox. The main plot lines resonate with the dramatic conflict of Wilde’s “Woman of No Importance”. In the finale of the Russian play, written 10 years earlier, we hear ironic statements which later will be repeated almost word – to –word in the Late Victorian comedy by Wilde. The reason for this similarity is a common source: the little-known melodrama of A. Dumas fils.