Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Reader's Diary #1068- Oscar Wilde: The Importance of Being Earnest

Many years ago now, before I began this blog, I read Oscar Wilde's only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. I enjoyed it, enough to recommend it to my wife Debbie who read it and also enjoyed it. A book that we both enjoy is rare.

Since then, and since starting this blog, I've tried to reconnect with Wilde on a few occasions. This didn't work. This didn't work. Even this didn't work. But perhaps I should have gone here first, to what is arguably Wilde's most famous work. The whole play is filled with wit, satire, silliness and tells a story of two men who live double lives. This play is Oscar Wilde.

I wouldn't go in expecting particularly likeable characters, but for plays on words, subtle digs, paradoxes, puns, irony, not-so-subtle digs and for a pure love of words, it's bliss.

"It is very vulgar to talk like a dentist when one isn't a dentist. It produces false impression”

"Well, I can't eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs. One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them."

"If it was my business, I wouldn't talk about it. It is very vulgar to talk about one's business. Only people like stockbroker's do that, and then merely at dinner parties.”


Swordsman said...

I have always wanted to see an Oscar Wilde play and thought this might be the best to start with. It was playing in Stratford a few years ago, but we never went. I might have to put The Picture of Dorian Grey on my list of books to read!

Melwyk said...

Love this one. I did see the Stratford version, and it was quite delightful ;) Don't forget this line:

"To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness."