I have this play in one book, together with The Importance of being Earnest and Lady Windermere's fan (or Lady Fandermere's wind, as my drama professor used to say). Logically I expected An ideal husband to be a comedy. And in a way it is, since it ends with one couple´s marriage being strengthened and one couple about to get married. By definition it must be a comedy then. But I suppose it´s more of a ´problem play´, like Shakespeare´s The merchant of Venice or Measure for measure: happy ending but trouble in the middle.
With An ideal husband I didn't mind it. Sometimes Oscar Wilde can be a bit too funny. This time there were also a few silly society ladies and the inevitable charming wit, spewing aphorisms from the top of his head; the nicely named Lord Goring. There was, however, also a plot. A plot involving blackmail of the not so ideal husband Sir Robert Chiltern. Not a highly memorable plot I'm afraid. But as long as Mr. Wilde entertains me along the way I feel I can forgive him. Who needs a plot anyway when you can quote such lines as: "Fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfahionable is what other people wear." Or, one more: "Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike."

14 November 2012

Pan Books, 1952
Originally published 1895



Comments

Certainly not for style, but for themes and plot a definite must read. Started in Holland, but finished on a hot night in Valencia. It's a fascinating tale of vanity, corruption and paranoia that generally makes for an exciting read, despite the fact that quite a few scenes read slowly.

28 June 2009

Comments

Finished on the same day as Earnest, this collection centered around De Profundis. This letter itself is at times tedious to read, but is quite powerful right from the start. An interesting confessional text, certainly. It is accompanied by two nice essays, some minor poems and the splendid "Ballad of Reading Gaol". In all, a good, varied collection of Wilde's writings.

24 November 2008

Comments

The second play by Wilde I've read and by far his most famous. Deservedly so, in most ways. Although I'd seen a movie and a play adapted from it, the play still deserved to be read. Most of the fuss is slightly exaggerated, but still it's a fine comedy. Very witty, lively and sparkling.

24 November 2008

Comments
 

reading now


Categories