Information about the author:
Georgy A. Veligorsky
Georgy A. Veligorsky , PhD in Philology, Research Fellow, Scientific Laboratory “Rossica: Russian Literature in the World Cultural Context”, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4316-4630
In this article, we will consider the parallels between the works of Oscar Wilde and Kenneth Grahame, determine the mutual influence of these writers, the common origins of their creative ideas and the roots of aesthetic philosophy (the works of J. Ruskin, W. Pater, the “Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood”), and try to trace how legitimate it is to draw the corresponding parallel between them. We will pay special attention to the image of Mr. Toad, the character of Grahame’s tale “The Wind in the Willows”, which, according to many researchers, reflected the features of Wilde — features of his appearance and character, worldview, tastes (primarily aesthetic) and behavior. Separately, we will analyze the scene from Chapter VI of “The Winds in the Willows” — the trial of Mr. Toad, in which researchers see a reminiscence (if not a parody) of the famous trial of Wilde. Having compared the key facts and summarizing all the main developments of researchers that exist today, we will trace how viable this emerging parallel is and whether the contingence itself, on the one hand, of these two writers, and on the other, Oscar Wilde and Mr. Toad, the hero a Grahame’s tale really takes place.