Friday, March 10, 2006

Wild about Wilde

Last night over a sumptuous Italian dinner, two friends and I gathered for our semi-monthly "literature night". Before one of the ladies left for a trip to Germany, we had decided to read a few things by Oscar Wilde.

Last night we had the joy of discussing:

  • The Devoted Friend (a short "fairy tale" or "children's story")
  • A Woman of No Importance (a "drawing room comedy" play that is Wilde at his best)
  • A Few Maxims for the instruction of the Over-Educated as well as Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young (one-liners that had us laughing so hard many of the fellow patrons kept looking at us and the open bottle of wine)

No doubt about it, Wilde had a tough life but he got it right at the end -- on his deathbed he converted to Catholicism!

If you've never read Wilde -- try him. The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde has everything he wrote for publication. His plays are witty and erudite with much deeper meaning than the superficial humor. His short stories -- many written for his children -- are full of meaning and beautiful, memorable characters. His essays cover many different themes that strike at the heart of Victorian England and are as insightful today as they were over 100 years ago.

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