EXCELLENT NO FRILLS EDITION OF ESSENTIAL WILDE GUERRILLA THEATRE INCLUDING BOSIE'S TRANSLATION OF SALOME
I prefer to read the original French SALOME as Wilde wrote it for Lady Sarah B., but amazon.com only has that at one hundred dollars (try the usual e-text sites)
This is an excellent useful no frills edition of all the essential plays with the unusual inclusion of Salome. Not a note about its unusual history, nor commentary for any of the other plays. Just what you need when all you want are the plays in one conveniently sized volume. Get it. Essential to any library.
My commentary: Wilde, the loving son of a fierce Irish nationalist, concealed his Catholic faith and true nation allegiance to infiltrate the oppressing Empire and reveal its corruption in these plays, albeit sugar-coated. He was jailed while researching its deepest perversities and broken there before he could write his magnus opus busting this wide open. The closest we have is Dorian Grey and the first scene of Ernest. But his unjust and unholy imprisonment produced De PRofundis and later his Ballad of Reading Goal, which read.
5 great works
Much of Oscar Wilde's public persona can be seen through the plays and reading them it is easy to see why he was so admired, talked about, loathed and scorned. While I don't find him in his plays to be the epitome of wit some make him out to be, it is easy to see how innovative his plays must have been.
Despite being funny in a witty kind of way in many places, they also outline if not his beliefs, then at least his beliefs as he presented them to the public. And what I found was a playful, self mocking kind of "opulence" - where Wilde's supposed aesthesism is not dogmatic but rather to be enjoyed. Thus, we see him participate in society through his characters while mocking society. Another important aspect is that despite his most witty characters (characters one would naturally identify with Wilde) scorning conventional morality, the actual outcome of his plays contains a morality of its own - and one that's quite close to some modern-day libertarians: a happy ending means that people make the best of their circumstances to enjoy themselves and live a happy and fulfilling life in the freedom of pursuing what they want to. Even if this is nothing like what Wilde wanted to convey, it still adds to the plays' reading.
I found the actual plays to be quite undifferentiated in that there is nothing that is in one that is completely radical compared to the others - rather, it's good to read them all in order to immerse oneself in that kind of atmosphere for a brief moment. The only exception is Salome, which is very unusual, but I think it's clear that it was intended to be so, and there's something avant-garde about it (especially the refrains about things like the moon scattered throughout).
But enough from me, read it and find out part of the reason why Wilde has left such a unique mark on world literature/culture/etc!
I, too, am writing to cancel out the vote of the idiot-child who first rated this book. When Amazon deletes his comment and rating, maybe it will delete mine, too.
Nice Intro by John LahrFrom Amazon I recommend this collection of Wilde's plays, not only because it has nice, big, clear print (better than some of the other available versions) but because of its wonderfully pithy intro by John Lahr. In fact I just put a John Lahr book in my shopping cart because I liked this intro so much. I finished reading Richard Ellman's 500+ page bio of Wilde the other day, so you wouldn't think I'd find anything new in this short intro, but Lahr put things together, with fresh ideas and insights, so I really ended up admiring Lahr's writing ability.
As to the plays, well of course you need a collection of Wilde's plays in your library!
I feel a great need to post here to offset the student who posted and gave less than 5 stars. I hope you finished your homework!
could someone help me with lady windermere's fan
i need some help with the characters. I got a school assignment to do on oscar wilde's play Lady Winderemer's Fan. I got 5 questions to answer and i need some help