Monday, September 17, 2012

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde

I don't know if I like Oscar Wilde so much simply because he writes amazingly witty lines, or because I feel so bad for him having to do prison time and want to give him hugs.  I've only read two of his plays (The Importance of Being Earnest, and most recently, Lady Windermere's Fan) but they've convinced me that I need to read more.

I've heard that The Picture of Dorian Gray (his only published novel) tends toward the dark and depressing—have you found that to be true?  I bought a copy & plan on reading it anyhow, but like to know what the general consensus is before I jump in. (Just the overview, not the details...no spoilers!)

Lady Windermere's Fan is a play about a young married couple in the upper echelons of London society that find themselves (and their marriage) being challenged by rumors and a lack of proper communication.  As you may expect, it is filled to the brim with his characteristic wit and humor.  Not only is it entirely entertaining, however, but it is thought-provoking as well: a perfect combination and definitely recommended (it's super quick to boot.)

Not only does Wilde's writing spur the imagination, but his name does as well.  In Patrick Taylor's An Irish Country Doctor, one of the main characters is named after Wilde—an homage paid to Irish literature in general, and a tribute to those Irish authors, such as Wilde, who may not have received such honors during their lifetimes.

An Irish Country Doctor is the beginning of a series, and is a cozy read for those days when you wish you were back in Ireland (or wait, is that just me?) Filled with humorous anecdotes and endearing characters, the town of Ballybucklebo will be one you'll love visiting (especially with the audio version read by John Keating—love that accent!)

Wouldn't it be fantastic to see one of Oscar Wilde's plays performed live?  I've decided that's one of my goals in life.  :)  How have your Wilde experiences been?  Any other works (of his or about/inspired by him) that I should put on my list?  (As an aside, did you see these 10 interesting facts about Wilde?)

2 comments:

  1. My dd played Lady Bracknell in "The Importance of Being Earnest." So I had to go over lines with her for hours. I loved the play.That's the only Oscar Wilde I've ever read. I do have The Portrait of an Artist on my Nook, but I haven't read it yet.

    I did enjoy The Irish Country Doctor. I have toyed with the idea of picking up the next one in the series.

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    1. That sounds like so much fun! What a play to be in. After I read The Irish Country Doctor I didn't think I'd read any more in the series because it was so much lighter than what I'm used to reading, but sometimes 'lighter' is just the thing. Recently it has sounded good. :)

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