Friday, March 23, 2012

"The Importance of Being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde

I should stop being so surprised that works written over a hundred years ago can be funny.  Or perhaps it is just surprising that the humor is still just as funny today - it truly transcends time.  But it does, especially here.  The Importance of Being Earnest is seriously laugh out loud funny!  I loved it!

Now that I'm finished with it, I can see why the book didn't really blurb the story.  The play is so simple and yet tells or satirizes so much that it is hard to blurb it with out giving it all away.  It is set in England, and revolves around two gentlemen of decent society - Algernon and Jack.  There are love interests and fabricated stories and a twist at the end, and it is all so absurdly funny.

It can be tough to read a play...  I know that many in the Back to the Classics Challenge are not fond of the category.  Everything relies on the dialogue, and if that isn't working for you then you are pretty much out of luck.  This was a great play to read, and I hope I get the chance to see it performed some day.  The dialogue is quick and snappy, with no long soliloquies.  There is very little stage direction, and the few characters are developed beautifully through the dialogue itself.  I am so very happy that I read this!

The Importance of Being Earnest
by Oscar Wilde
Avon Books, 1976.  First Published 1895
160 pages
Source:  Purchased New
Links for purchase:
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Ricki said...

This is my absolute favorite play ever. I read the script before seeing it (I have now seen it 3 times) and laughed out loud, just as much as I do when seeing it.

Caro said...

I'm so glad you're reading Oscar Wilde! I love love love this play. I read it for the first time when I was 14 and now, nearly ten years later, it still holds the same magic it did when I first lost myself in it.

Melody said...

I had such a fun time reading this play (and love the film). I'm planning on reading more Wilde--love his wit and humor.

Rob said...

I'm reading The Picture of Dorian Gray right now. Very clever dialogue. I'm really looking forward to reading Earnest.

Sarah Reads Too Much said...

Rob - I LOVED Dorian Gray.... I knew I needed to read more Wilde after that.

booksntea said...

I had to read the Importance of Being Earnest for my British Lit class in college, and at first I was surprised by how much I liked it! I thought it was lovely and sometimes funny! But then I got to thinking of all the plays I've been required to read for different classes, and I've never actually been let down. (Compared to all of the classic novels I had to read. Most of which I hated).
Even when we had to read plays (like Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, the Glass Menagerie, and A Raisin in the Sun) out loud in high school. Because, you're right, reading plays can be rough. Especially when parts are being read by people who don't read so well-- stumbling over words, botching pronunciations. And yet, I still loved reading the plays.

Maybe I ought to

- Jackie

thebookwormslair said...

I love this play, I read it at college and for a play it really is very easy to read. It's got some great lines in it and I must get around to reading more by Wilde.

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