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Alice in PornolandHardcore Encounters with the Victorian Gothic$
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Laura Helen Marks

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042140

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042140.001.0001

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Strange Legacies of Thought and Passion

Strange Legacies of Thought and Passion

Technologies of the Flesh and the Queering Effect of Dorian Gray

Chapter:
(p.142) 5 Strange Legacies of Thought and Passion
Source:
Alice in Pornoland
Author(s):

Laura Helen Marks

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252042140.003.0006

Meanwhile, adaptations of Oscar Wilde’s queer classic The Picture of Dorian Gray extend and elaborate on explorations of the double by explicitly invoking histories of sexual representation in connection to the sensual qualities of technology and nostalgia. In chapter 5, “`Strange Legacies of Thought and Passion’: Technologies of the Flesh and the Queering Effect of Dorian Gray,” I continue my analysis of the relationship between pornography, legacy, doubles, and technology through a close examination of two films based on Wilde’s novel: Take Off (1976) and Gluttony (2001). More than any other text, Dorian Gray engenders pornographic engagement with erotic legacy and the role of technology in the erotics of representation. Like Wilde’s novel, these films interrogate beauty and mortality, haunted at the margins by Wilde’s tragic fate and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Drawing on Wilde’s magic portrait as a predecessor, Take Off and Gluttony ruminate on mortality and relate it to the sensual, tactile qualities of evolving, mobile visual technologies and the role these technologies play in sexual subjectivity. Pornographic film, Weston and West suggest, is the inheritor to Wilde’s portrait. Both films draw on Wilde’s tale in order to address the media on which the self is captured, the shifting technologies used to exhibit this self, and the relationship of technology and media to the corporeal body. Through their reimagining of histories of Hollywood and pornographic film, respectively, Take Off and Gluttony signal the affective relationship between technology, pornography, decay, and popular culture, tracing a hardcore sexual history of the self that constitutes a sexual lineage.

Keywords:   gay porn, queer, Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde, HIV/AIDS, Technology, history of sexuality, cinema, Wash West, Armand Weston, film adaptation, pornography, Gothic

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