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The Works of Oscar Wilde, Including the Poems, Novels, Plays, Essays, Fairy Tales and Dialogues: 6 Volumes in 1

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Oscar Wilde The ever-quotable Oscar Wilde once said, "Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it." From his outsize celebrity in Victorian London to his authorship of fiction, drama, and poetry that uniquely captured his era, it's fair to say that Wilde succeeded on both counts. Biography Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born on October 16, 1854, to an Oscar Wilde The ever-quotable Oscar Wilde once said, "Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it." From his outsize celebrity in Victorian London to his authorship of fiction, drama, and poetry that uniquely captured his era, it's fair to say that Wilde succeeded on both counts. Biography Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born on October 16, 1854, to an intellectually prominent Dublin family. His father, Sir William Wilde, was a renowned physician who was knighted for his work as medical adviser to the 1841 and 1851 Irish censuses; his mother, Lady Jane Francesca Elgee, was a poet and journalist. Wilde showed himself to be an exceptional student. While at the Royal School in Enniskillen, he took First Prize in Classics. He continued his studies at Trinity College, Dublin, on scholarship, where he won high honors, including the Demyship Scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford. At Oxford, Wilde engaged in self-discovery, through both intellectual and personal pursuits. He fell under the influence of the aesthetic philosophy of Walter Pater, a tutor and author who inspired Wilde to create art for the sake of art alone. It was during these years that Wilde developed a reputation as an eccentric and a foppish dresser who always had a flower in his lapel. Wilde won his first recognition as a writer when the university awarded him the Newdigate Prize for his poem "Ravenna.".

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Oscar Wilde The ever-quotable Oscar Wilde once said, "Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it." From his outsize celebrity in Victorian London to his authorship of fiction, drama, and poetry that uniquely captured his era, it's fair to say that Wilde succeeded on both counts. Biography Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born on October 16, 1854, to an Oscar Wilde The ever-quotable Oscar Wilde once said, "Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it." From his outsize celebrity in Victorian London to his authorship of fiction, drama, and poetry that uniquely captured his era, it's fair to say that Wilde succeeded on both counts. Biography Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born on October 16, 1854, to an intellectually prominent Dublin family. His father, Sir William Wilde, was a renowned physician who was knighted for his work as medical adviser to the 1841 and 1851 Irish censuses; his mother, Lady Jane Francesca Elgee, was a poet and journalist. Wilde showed himself to be an exceptional student. While at the Royal School in Enniskillen, he took First Prize in Classics. He continued his studies at Trinity College, Dublin, on scholarship, where he won high honors, including the Demyship Scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford. At Oxford, Wilde engaged in self-discovery, through both intellectual and personal pursuits. He fell under the influence of the aesthetic philosophy of Walter Pater, a tutor and author who inspired Wilde to create art for the sake of art alone. It was during these years that Wilde developed a reputation as an eccentric and a foppish dresser who always had a flower in his lapel. Wilde won his first recognition as a writer when the university awarded him the Newdigate Prize for his poem "Ravenna.".

30 review for The Works of Oscar Wilde, Including the Poems, Novels, Plays, Essays, Fairy Tales and Dialogues: 6 Volumes in 1

  1. 5 out of 5

    leynes

    Almost three years and 1,270 pages later I'm finally marking this as read, what a surreal feeling. I cannot believe that I have read every single word of Oscar's published writing. I know, they're are still many private letters left for me to discover but, you guys, I did it. I am proud of myself and I am proud of my trash son. I don't think I'll ever love an author as much as I love Oscar. Here's to the man who believed when he died that his name would be toxic for generations to come. For hund Almost three years and 1,270 pages later I'm finally marking this as read, what a surreal feeling. I cannot believe that I have read every single word of Oscar's published writing. I know, they're are still many private letters left for me to discover but, you guys, I did it. I am proud of myself and I am proud of my trash son. I don't think I'll ever love an author as much as I love Oscar. Here's to the man who believed when he died that his name would be toxic for generations to come. For hundreds of years his works wouldn't be read. He would stand for nothing but perversion; utter disgust of a society that couldn't bear people like him. Oh, how wrong you were, my darling child. You're still one of the most read authors in the 21th century and we all love and appreciate you very much. They even had to lock up your sarcophagus because people wouldn't stop kissing it. I wish I could wake you up for five minutes to tell you that, then you could go back to sleep again. <3 And because I am a good hoe and gracious queen I will leave you with all of my individual reviews: STORIES
 • A House of Pomegranates • The Happy Prince and Other Tales • Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime • The Canterville Ghost • The Picture of Dorian Gray PLAYS 
• Vera: or, The Nihilists • The Duchess of Padua • Salomé • A Woman of No Importance • Lady Windermere’s Fan • An Ideal Husband • The Importance of Being Earnest • A Florentine Tragedy • La Sainte Courtisane
 POEMS
 • The Collected Poems of Oscar Wilde • The Ballad of Reading Goal 
ESSAYS, SELECTED JOURNALISM, LECTURES AND LETTERS • The Rise of Historical Criticism • The Critic as Artist • Pen, Pencil and Poison • The Truth of Masks • The House Beautiful & The Decorative Arts • The Soul of Man Under Socialism • The Decay of Lying • Selected Journalism (1882 - 1889) • Impressions of America • De Profundis • Two Letters to the Daily Chronicle

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rachelandthecity

    Wilde has such a gift with phrasing, I always think about how parallel he seems to me with Ryan Adams. So many accolades so early, then such a fever to tear him apart. Here's a few quotes: A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal. A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her. Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much. America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between. Anyone Wilde has such a gift with phrasing, I always think about how parallel he seems to me with Ryan Adams. So many accolades so early, then such a fever to tear him apart. Here's a few quotes: A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal. A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her. Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much. America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between. Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination. Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing. Biography lends to death a new terror. Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months. Genius is born--not paid. I always like to know everything about my new friends, and nothing about my old ones. I am not young enough to know everything. I think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability. If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you. Illusion is the first of all pleasures. It is always a silly thing to give advice, but to give good advice is fatal. Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace. Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone elses opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. One can survive everything, nowadays, except death, and live down everything except a good reputation. One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards. Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tosh

    So essential it's not even funny. Not a better writer in the English language. Also if one can have a hero in this world, I think Wilde can fit that bill. He maybe the first writer that I realize was a rebel of sorts. My first actual rock n' roll figure that I looked up to. I started reading Wilde as a young teenager - due to the fact that he seemed to be the most glamourous figure in literature. Most of my high school friends were into the Beats or such toss as Jonathan Bach, but Wilde was my (a So essential it's not even funny. Not a better writer in the English language. Also if one can have a hero in this world, I think Wilde can fit that bill. He maybe the first writer that I realize was a rebel of sorts. My first actual rock n' roll figure that I looked up to. I started reading Wilde as a young teenager - due to the fact that he seemed to be the most glamourous figure in literature. Most of my high school friends were into the Beats or such toss as Jonathan Bach, but Wilde was my (as T-Rex's Marc Bolan would say ) mainman. And the fact that I am straight to be attracted to such a guy figure had a great importance in my life. Wilde represented a third way to me. The fact that he was outside of his culture appealed to my aesthetic - plus it was sexy. Oscar Wilde, born in the 19th Century and dying in the new 20th Century - was truly an artist of the 20th Century. Oscar Wilde I salute you!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Spencer

    What can I say? You either love Wilde or you don't understand him, and I love him.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Wiebke (1book1review)

    This was just perfect. What else could I say? The writing and wit of Oscar Wilde is just admirable and hilarious. The adaptations on this audiobook made them come to live and it was so much fun listening I often forgot I was not alone but felt like part of the audience in the theater. I recommend this to anyone who has wanted to give Oscar Wilde a go.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Fernando

    El genio literario indiscutido de Oscar Wilde brilla en cada uno de los cuentos que componen este volúmen. Libro altamente recomendable para todo aquel lector que admire su obra o para quien quiera conocerla.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    1) The Picture of Dorian Gray 2) Lord Arthur Savile's Crime 3) The Canterville Chost 4) The Sphinx Without a Secret 5) The Model Millionaire 6) The Young King 7) The Birthday of the Infanta 8) The Fisherman and His Soul 9) The Star-Child 10) The Happy Prince 11) The Nightingale and the Rose 12) The Selfish Giant 13) The Devoted Friend 15) The Remarkable Rocket 16) The Importance of Being Earnest 17) Lady Windermere's Fan 18) A Woman of No Importance 19) An Ideal Husband 20) Salome 21) The Duchess of Padua 22) Vera, 1) The Picture of Dorian Gray 2) Lord Arthur Savile's Crime 3) The Canterville Chost 4) The Sphinx Without a Secret 5) The Model Millionaire 6) The Young King 7) The Birthday of the Infanta 8) The Fisherman and His Soul 9) The Star-Child 10) The Happy Prince 11) The Nightingale and the Rose 12) The Selfish Giant 13) The Devoted Friend 15) The Remarkable Rocket 16) The Importance of Being Earnest 17) Lady Windermere's Fan 18) A Woman of No Importance 19) An Ideal Husband 20) Salome 21) The Duchess of Padua 22) Vera, or the Nihilists 23) A Florentine Tragedy 24) La Sainte Courtisane 25) Poems 26) Poems in Prose 27) De Profundis 28) Two Letters to the Daily Chronicle 29) The Decay of Lying 30) Pen, Pencil and Poison 31) The Critic as Artist 32) The Truth of Masks 33) The Soul of Man Under Socialism 34) The Rise of Historical Criticism 35) The Portrait of Mr. W.H. 36) A Few Maxims for the Instruction of the Over-Educated 37) Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rosa Ramôa

    "A moda é uma variação tão intolerável do horror que tem de ser mudada de seis em seis meses" (Oscar Wilde)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amena

    Brilliant writing. Real, deep themes which one can relate to the present life. A fantastic ending. Definitely worth every single one of those 5 stars.

  10. 4 out of 5

    John Cairns

    It’s true, in Wilde’s preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray, that thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art. In fact that’s pretty well a truism, isn’t it? since the art, if art, would in this case be of written language. We are being nudged into believing what we’re to read is art, that he’s an artist. The first time I read this novel I found it cold and repellent. That doesn’t mean it isn’t art. It might be all the greater an artefact to make for that effect. How is it the s It’s true, in Wilde’s preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray, that thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art. In fact that’s pretty well a truism, isn’t it? since the art, if art, would in this case be of written language. We are being nudged into believing what we’re to read is art, that he’s an artist. The first time I read this novel I found it cold and repellent. That doesn’t mean it isn’t art. It might be all the greater an artefact to make for that effect. How is it the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors? What does that mean anyway? The artist in his art is mirroring the spectator – of the art? the reader? or the artist, as a spectator, of life? Wouldn’t it have to be the former since the artist is making the mirror for the spectator to look at and see himself? That’s likely a shelving of responsibility from the artist to the reader, by likening the artefact to a mirror, a reflective surface, diverting attention from itself, its makeup, who made it and why he made it as it is or was, cold and repellent. Was I seeing myself or the artist himself in his artefact? or neither? This is a preface to a fiction which deals with the relationship of an artist to what he puts himself into and that of a spectator who sees himself in it. How flame-like can laburnum be? I’ve struck a match to see. Honey-coloured the flame may be above the blue but nowhere near as yellow as laburnum which hangs down. For goodness’ sake! I exclaim, incredulous at an affected character’s saying ‘I can believe anything provided that it is quite incredible.’ Really? Is that supposed to be wit? A paradox? That the basis of belief is unbelievability? Mind you I have heard somebody insist the resurrection is so unbelievable it has to be true. The Xian did affect to believe what he was saying; the character doesn’t. His friend, a painter, is inspired by another character into putting love for him into his art. The witty one observes how useful passion is for publication. ‘Genius lasts longer than beauty.’ You use the love to make the art rather than waste it on the beloved. Never trust what a poet says about love. Poets don’t know. They’ve never finished that course. They’re running quite another. Venus may rule both love and art but under separate signs. Beauty is not so superficial as thought is, says the would-be witty one. Really? Food for thought there. I remember noticing one in ten men on the tube gape at me. It couldn’t be at my clothes which, like theirs, were drab. It had to be my face. None acted further on its effect. I was with somebody I thought beautiful. Now, was my beauty less superficial than my thinking on it? I set no store by it. How superficial was that! since it’s also an aspect of soul and its goodness, that this novel explores. Wit is an accomplishment in saying something from your perspective that others suddenly understand from theirs but once you’ve established wittiness you can, experimentally, say something that’s not funny and they’ll laugh anyway. Written wit is a greater accomplishment, even the greatest, because you’re laying a mine in one time for any reader’s eye at a future time to trip over and trigger an explosion in his brain that bursts out as an involuntary guffaw. Oh, the power, the power! ‘The only difference between a caprice and a life-long passion is that the caprice lasts a little longer’ evoked not a laugh but an ‘och’ and face averted in disgust at the failure of intended wit. I’ve since done my research; I looked up the dictionary. Incontrovertibly a life-long passion lasts the length of a life. If, as may be inferred, for somebody other than yourself, for your mother, till she dies or hers, for you, till she dies, if you’re lucky. A caprice is by definition an unaccountable change of mind or conduct, on a whim, a turn on a sixpence, in an instant. If I have a life-long passion for anything it’s for life itself and to make art of it. This book is about making art from life though you’d have to suspend you disbelief an artefact which isn’t life can do that. The idea is brilliant, like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and deftly worked out. Aristotle defined man as a rational animal. There are nice touches. A character smiles at missing where he was going from having been lost in thought. Without giving the content the author conveys the brio of an improvisation by a wit keen to fascinate one of his hearers. I’ve done that, working out why I was being witty and turning about to find the one I entranced following me upstairs. It can also be a bit forced. A character excuses himself for being late because he had to haggle for hours over a piece of brocade simply for the author to get in ‘people know the price of everything and the value of nothing’ as a witticism bolted onto the character though it makes little sense in the context of him as a prospective buyer arguing to reduce the price of what he thought valuable. It’s true women are always bothering us to do something for them, though that nothing is ever quite true is also true, but ...acting is so much more real than life? Please! The statement it is, however, is relevant since the actress Dorian loves can no longer take acting for real on loving him and acts badly. Unfortunately it’s for her acting he loves her. I was morally outraged at his ensuing behaviour, as I was supposed to be, though it did bring to mind my own with the girl from Millau I encouraged to come to London and on our meeting up there unceremoniously dumped. That was entirely different! The actress has an uncouth brother who you know just exists to make an appearance later as nemesis. The fear of god to us all? We no longer all fear god. How times have changed! It’s still possible to appreciate the exasperation in ‘women never know when the curtain has fallen. They always want a sixth act, and as soon as the play’ of love ‘is entirely over they propose to continue it!’ He was too clever and too cynical for Dorian to be really fond of him, Lord Harry. I’ll say! All that wit becomes quite wearisome, as his wife agrees by action if not words. You keep wanting to see the reality behind the mask. His clever tongue gets on one’s nerves. Looming over all is what you know of the author. There are moments, the narrator says, when the passion for sin, or’ - he excuses himself - ‘for what the world calls sin, so dominates a nature, that every fibre of the body ...seems to be instinct with fearful impulses. Men ...at such moments lose the freedom of their will. They move to their terrible end as automatons move. Choice is taken from them.’ Wilde is anticipating himself when, urged to flee by Robbie Ross, he would wait to be arrested. He quite rightly, artistically, doesn’t make explicit what Dorian’s corruption of young men might be, leaving that to our imaginations. It wasn’t Nero who had the velarium stretched across the Colosseum which was built where his golden palace had been razed. Probably Domitian. Dorian Gray was looking on evil as a mode through which he could realise his conception of the beautiful. I had to laugh at his ‘Poor Basil!’ of the painter character, as if he’d nothing to do with the ‘horrible way’ he died. ‘Ten years’ marriage ‘with Monmouth must’ve been like eternity,’ isn’t witty but ‘with time thrown in’ is. There’s a nice indirectness about Dorian’s reaction to what Harry said being conveyed through another character’s dialogue but, while her teeth showing like white seeds in a scarlet fruit is supposed to be beautiful, I had the ugly impression of a smashed fruit, a water melon say, with its seeds thus revealed. The reappearance of nemesis is nicely disguised and dealt with. I was a bit disoriented by the upper class milieu depicted but the working classes weren’t yet educated enough to write fiction with a different setting though Hardy was doing pretty well. There are nice throwaway lines like ‘Scotland Yard still insists that the man in the grey Ulster who left for Paris ...was poor Basil’ and ‘“What do you think has happened to Basil?” asked Dorian.’ And funny ones: ‘The man with whom my wife ran away played Chopin exquisitely’ and ‘I dare say he fell into the Seine off an omnibus and that the conductor hushed up the scandal.’ Dorian ‘had often told the girl whom he had lured to love him that he was poor and she had believed him. He had told her once that he was wicked and she had laughed.’ It was no laughing matter. The soul may keep receptivity but badness hurts it and makes for unhappiness. I’d say it was driving Dorian insane because how else explain a most satisfactory ending. I remembered the chiromantist goes pale on reading Lord Arthur Savile’s hand, as well he might. The contemporary historical reference is to General Boulanger, the figurehead of a movement against the republican constitution of France, I used my prize for being dux in history sixty-two years ago to look up. Lord Arthur just wants to get the crime over with. He sends his club’s waiter out to research the means but has to dirty his own aristocratic hands with the work. His efforts are amateurish as befits a gentleman. He finally puts his hands to good use in a spontaneous action that nonetheless brings about the predetermined end. Miss Fanny Davenport is another contemporary reference. I found the charity from an old beggar at the end of The Model Millionaire oddly moving, because of the benevolence depicted though I hadn’t been affected by the initial charity. ‘Uh-huh, wishful thinking’ was all I had to say at the end of The Young King. It should be ‘one white petal of his rose’ and not ‘pearl’ in The Birthday of the Infanta who, heartless herself, declares ‘let those who come to play with me have no hearts’. In The Fisherman and his Soul, Wilde describes Syria as an island. One already knows what the nightingale has to do for a red rose. The narrator does say of the student he only knew things he read in books. The end of The Selfish Giant i greeted with an ironic ‘great!’ Of The Beloved Friend all I have to say is that Hans deserved death. In The Importance of Being Earnest Lady Bracknell presciently remarks educating the working classes would probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square as. Cecily makes a contemporary reference to the great depression which started in the 1870s, Lady Bracknell to the prevalent nihilism. This play unexpectedly reads as well and wittily as it would be performed, at least as it was, on screen in its film version. It’s plotted with the precision of clockwork, like an Orton or Ayckbourn farce. It’s perfect. Lady Windermere’s Fan has the Aristotelian unity of time. Its tone is more serious than the soufflé of Importance. Lady Windermere finds men’s flattery patronising. She’s being set up as a puritan for a fall, like Oedipus. Play is made of the fan, like Desdemona’s kerchief or Chekov’s guns. I’m guessing Mrs Erlynne’s her mother. I may be more familiar with this play than I think. I did have another complete Wilde. Grandma thought as indulgently of whores as Lady Plymdale of courtesans. I feel Wilde is talking of himself in the character of Lord Darlington when he says, ‘but there are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life... or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands.’ Lord Darlington’s ‘now or not at all’ reminds me of Jo’s to me, “it’s now or never, Johnny.” “In that case it’s never.” In Lady Windermere’s it’s, ‘Then, not at all.’ Lady Agatha’s the running gag, her line the same throughout, peaking when her mother asks did Mr Hopper definitely ask – and is assured he did, only to find out her daughter’s assented to going to Australia! Lady Windermere’s ‘what a pity that in life we only get our lessons when they are of no use to us’ is sapient. I find the conclusion of this play moving. A Woman of No Importance also has a unity of time. It’s all persiflage but with an undercurrent. You might think the fancy Lord Illingworth takes to a young man homo in nature but this is a Wilde play so more likely to be that of a father. I feel the American’s criticism of English society expresses Wilde’s. Lady Hunstanton says, ‘I have a dim idea, dear Lord Illingworth, that you are always on the side of the sinners, and I know I always try to be on the side of the saints, but that is as far as I get. And after all, it may be merely the fancy of a drowning person.’ ‘Illingworth’ might be a play on ‘ill in worth’. The undercurrent surfaces in a confrontation between him and the woman of no importance. I’d’ve thought the look on her face would be anger and not sorrow. It’s dramatically good one doesn’t take her side. I’d think she was overdoing it anyway if I hadn’t just been reading in The Observer the effect being deprived of their child has on women. The difference between them and my mother, a generation earlier, was she was self-dependent. She didn’t think she was disgraced either by not being married since she chose not to marry my father she didn’t think good enough for me, so this play may still be relevant and not as melodramatic as I think it though how it’s resolved isn’t overly convincing. The woman of no importance is nicely sardonic, however, in quoting the man’s words back at him and does have the last dismissive word. An Ideal Husband is gripping to read. Check Lord Radley. It has the unity of time as well as unity of action. There’s an allusion to Othello. In our day being under-secretary of state for foreign affairs at forty would not be considered such a brilliant success. The alternate use of the brooch was broached earlier. Sir Robert’s taking his wife’s missive to himself confirms Mrs Cheveley’s interpretation of its meaning. ‘A man’s life is of more value than a woman’s’ elicited an exclamation mark in the margin. I’ve found women to be pragmatic and doubt Lady Chiltern for all her youthful puritanism would’ve needed Lord Goring’s counsel to let her husband pursue political ambition. That’s a weakness in the play hard to get round since she repeats his opinion of the relative value of a man’s life. She has, however, learned her lesson otherwise. The play has quite a good ending though I have to doubt Lord Goring would prove any more ideal a husband than Sir Robert. The women though deserve no better. Mrs Cheveley’s much the best character, having the worst. The translation of Salomé is by Bosie. Oh dear. All the main characters, except Herodias, are obsessed. She just wants Jokanaan to shut up and doesn’t notice when his insults are redirected onto Salomé. ‘Can a man tell what will come to pass?’ Yes. Salomé is motivated by rejection. ‘(Salomé dances the dance of the seven veils.)’ Strauss must’ve seized on that simple stage direction. Good. I had the idea she went on to be a married woman of thirty-five. I didn’t find the thirty-five but did that she was married twice and had three sons, according to Josephus. The bible doesn’t name her but says she asked her mother what she should ask for after the dance, and there’s no call to disbelieve it on that score. Wilde puts the want entirely down to her. He also conflates two Herods, the Great who did die with worms in his genitalia and Antipas who didn’t. The play not only has unity of place and of action but of – curtailed - time. The eponymous duchess of Parma does give Guido a second glance to alert us to what follows. ‘Get hence tonight from Padua’ reminds me of Kiss Me Kate. Why does Guido have to wait till told to do the deed and in the event why doesn’t Moranzone do it himself? There are many dramatic switches and not all plausible on a reading. You’d have to see the play in performance to find out if it works. The language is a bit too flowery to convince and often prosaically limps. ‘Get hence, I say, out of my sight,’ seems a bit extreme from an erstwhile lover. ‘I will not kiss you/Until the blood grows dry upon this knife/And not even then.’ What? It’s in blank verse. ‘This way went he, the man who slew my lord,’ informs the duchess. Good for her. I did see it coming. That the poison ‘smells of poppies’ is a dead giveaway it’s opium and not immediately effective. It’s a five act tragedy. The prologue to Vera, or the Nihilists is very good. There’s a contemporary reference to the French republic set up by 1875. That the people should have one neck is an allusion to Caligula’s ‘Would that the Roman people had but one.’ (I couldn’t check at home because my Suetonius hasn’t been returned.) Through the Czarevitch’s ‘from the sick and labouring womb of this unhappy land some revolution ...may rise up and slay you,’ Wilde is anticipating the Russian. I was astonished the Nihilists should so readily accept the Czar’s prime minister. Vera’s ‘The people are not yet fit for a republic in Russia’ has proved true. I was surprised by her father’s fate in a belated back-story. I anticipated whose blood would be on the dagger. There are sardonic lines, ‘You remind us wonderfully, Sire, of your Imperial father’ and just plain funny ones like Vera’s ‘I am a Nihilist! I cannot wear a crown.’ The outcome is basically unbelievable in retrospect as is the character of the Czarevitch. Could it work? A Florentine Tragedy could if it had been finished and an actor go from believing another man is there for goods other than his wife to realising what the audience suspects from the start, the play’s poetry improving with the ironic realisation. We also know the outcome from Simone’s ‘Who filches from me something that is mine... perils his body in the theft.’ The larger political consequence that might take murderer and accessory with it is well indicated. Last and least La Sainte Courtisane. ‘with a little rod/I did but touch the honey of romance’! ‘These christs that die upon the barricades/god knows I am with them, in some things.’ I like that ‘in some things’. ‘Down in some treacherous black ravine/clutching his flag, the dead boy lies’ is effective. ‘This England.../by ignorant demagogues is held in fee’ makes me wonder who he means. He has a sonnet on the massacre of the Bulgarians, 1876. He writes a lot of poetry, showing cleverness and versatility but it’s etiolated, mythopoeic rehash in the main. Itys I thought a swallow or nightingale but is a goldfinch. Charmides is a fictionalising of history, of a sailor who was enamoured of the statue of a Aphrodite and did the dirty, leaving a smear on her thigh. I like the euphemism, ‘Nor knew that three days since his eyes had looked on Proserpine.’ ‘Great Pan is dead and Mary’s son is king,’ no longer. ‘And here and there a passer-by/shows like a little restless midge’ is good, as is ‘I remember your hair... for it always ran riot’. The Sphinx is rather good, with some drive to the poetic conceit of his cat metamorphosing into it and having an affair with a long since defunct god she can yet resurrect. Then life stepped in and made Wilde a real poet with The Ballad of Reading Gaol. Too much god for me in the Teacher of Wisdom and too much christ in De Profundis which is not as I remember it half a century ago when it read as if being written there and then, to Bosie, with recrimination and passion. It’s still good but could be to anybody. The moral law doesn’t apply to him. He’s being unjustly punished. He won’t say prison is the best thing that could’ve happened to him, but it was since The Ballad of Reading Gaol and De Profundis came out of it. He admires Christ’s megalomania. He doesn’t seem to know opera keeps the Greek chorus. [See [email protected] for rest]

  11. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Oscar Wilde is fabulous, and clever, and impossibly witty and Oscar Wilde knows it. Do yourself a favor, don't read this cover to cover - a little bit of Wilde goes a long way! Random thoughts: I was disappointed to find that the popular culture image of Dorian Grey didn't quite live up to the actual written depiction of him. Apparently the Victorian's were easily horrified, and I found some of the examples of his debauchery to be head scratchers. Especially his tendency to collect jewels and tap Oscar Wilde is fabulous, and clever, and impossibly witty and Oscar Wilde knows it. Do yourself a favor, don't read this cover to cover - a little bit of Wilde goes a long way! Random thoughts: I was disappointed to find that the popular culture image of Dorian Grey didn't quite live up to the actual written depiction of him. Apparently the Victorian's were easily horrified, and I found some of the examples of his debauchery to be head scratchers. Especially his tendency to collect jewels and tapestries and such (I'm sure there's some deeper meaning here, but I completely missed it). “The suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.” Willy Wonka was quoting Oscar Wilde, as it turns out.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Shawn

    Okay, as recently, I'm mopping up some titles from "To Read Short Fiction Lists", genre and lit, and as I'm in the W's.... I had 3 pieces from Wilde on the list - I've previously read a *bit* of him (about 10 stories, mostly thanks to Dedalus Books Decadence series) but, for example, haven't tackled an obvious must-read like The Picture of Dorian Grey. "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime" is probably the most "Wildean" thing here, and in it one can see Wilde's black humor and some origins of a writer like Okay, as recently, I'm mopping up some titles from "To Read Short Fiction Lists", genre and lit, and as I'm in the W's.... I had 3 pieces from Wilde on the list - I've previously read a *bit* of him (about 10 stories, mostly thanks to Dedalus Books Decadence series) but, for example, haven't tackled an obvious must-read like The Picture of Dorian Grey. "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime" is probably the most "Wildean" thing here, and in it one can see Wilde's black humor and some origins of a writer like Saki (in one direction) and P.G. Wodehouse (in another). British upper crust life had advanced to such a point, seemingly, that one could be terribly naughty by writing a deliberately lighthearted piece about cold-blooded attempted murder, poison and anarchist bombs. Shocking! That may sound like I'm being sarcastic but actually I'm not, it's just interesting to me how levels of privilege, culture, comfort and stability (timed historically differently, of course, across varied social and class strata) invariably give rise to an impulse like this, a turning inward, a jaundiced view of the status quo, satirically and cheekily expressed. So here we have a society party of humorous cartoons (lots of witty bon mots tossed around - "The world is a stage but the play is poorly cast.") where a nobleman (Lord Savile, natch) has his palm read and is told he will commit murder in the future. Being a good upstanding chap, and not wanting to ruin his intended nuptials, he sets about trying to figure out who the least important person is that he can murder in his social circle. Hilarity ensues as poison, bombs and drownings prove ineffective until chance steps in. Of course, part of the joke is that Savile never questions (and we should never expect him to question) the accuracy of such a prediction from a dubious source, because then the ultimate joke of basing your actions on dubious sources, and the empty trendiness of the moneyed classes (and possibly their coldness to human suffering) would be undone. "The Star Child" is Wilde operating in his Fairy Tale Mode. In many ways it is a traditional fairy tale with an obvious moral - a poor family finds an abandoned baby and raises him to be a beautiful boy. But the boy is cruel, arrogant and hateful and despises the poverty around him, torturing small animals and displaying his ingratitude at every opportunity, so magically he is turned ugly and has to go forth in the world to learn humility - which he does, by trying to complete three impossible tasks, aided by animal servitors. The Wildean punch, when it comes, lies not so much in the classically-beautiful-but-cruel main character but instead in the short and oddly ominous last line of the piece, as if Wilde could not completely commit himself to the eternal awe and wonder of happily ever after. "The Decay Of Lying" is an essay (presented as a dialogue) and, honestly, I'll probably need to give it another read and dissect it at my leisure at a later date because I was mostly in the wrong head-space when I read it. Essentially, it's Wilde's barbed answer to the rise of the Naturalist/Realist movement in literature (Zola, etc.), which eschewed imagination and flights of fancy for close observations of the real world and people. Wilde believes this idea is terrible and sketches out what he believes literature (and almost almost all art) should consist of, how it should proceed and what its goals should be. Sui generis, inventive and imaginative, essentially - "effective lying" is the ultimate creativity. Having recently codified my own approach to the arts (well, certainly literature) as that of a Generalist/Surveyor, I can't take an us/them, good/bad argument about literature *so* seriously. I find such screeds fascinating - not as an expression of "the truth" but as "one way of looking at things" (from a particular position, in a particular moment in time, given what has come before, what was happening then and what was to come) - even as my mind begins to undermine the argument (and, in case I haven't made my point, I'd have the same reaction to a po-faced essay about the obvious superiority of realism over imagination). These kind of essays/arguments *are* important - it *was* important that someone had them and they *remain* important as records of thought processes, as we try to move forward - except we don't seem to be moving forward very much and those records seem to be ignored, as we seem to JUST KEEP HAVING the same binary us/them, good/bad stupid/reductive arguments over and over again even centuries later (just recently, in my life in fact). I do believe the human mind is vast and can hold many ideas, some of them contradictory. I do not think there is only one way to "do art" or that the term "art" is pretentious, or that "entertainment" is below contempt for that matter, OR that a perfect blending of "art" and "entertainment" is the Ultimate Goal for THAT matter. I do think that different approaches yield different results and have different successes, achievements, failures and traps. This doesn't seem very hard for me at all and I wonder why people seem so driven into singular conceptions - perhaps it's the varied arrogance and insecurity underlying the desperately clung-to worldviews? So, for example, when I read this essay I find it fascinating: Wilde is witty (duh), charming, intelligent and erudite and his argument makes sense - until I remember that some realist novels have, in my life, packed just as much impact as the imaginative ones. I look at what he's saying and think "hmmm, interesting that the Decadents take *part* of his stance - invention and artificiality - and discard others - by focusing on the dregs and degradation of real life". I think of genre writers who bristle at being labelled escapist and regularly chalk up straight Lit as "boring" - thus placing them in Wilde's camp - yet Wilde would be appalled to find them worrying over research, realistic detail and promoting social causes and the underrepresented. But I'll have to reread it. There's a good argument to be made that Wilde is deliberately overstating his case so as to have a kind of unspoken criticisms of its excesses built right into the text. Still, lots of fun!

  13. 5 out of 5

    El

    This review is a work-in-progress. I'm reading this whole collection, but will be reviewing the individual reads separately as I go along, so don't be all confused by the otherwise seemingly random posting of Wilde stories and plays. I am going to skip reading The Picture of Dorian Gray because I read that just a few years ago. My review is behind that link; knock yourself out. Individual reviews will be linked here as I go along, just to really annoy everyone each time it pops up in their updates This review is a work-in-progress. I'm reading this whole collection, but will be reviewing the individual reads separately as I go along, so don't be all confused by the otherwise seemingly random posting of Wilde stories and plays. I am going to skip reading The Picture of Dorian Gray because I read that just a few years ago. My review is behind that link; knock yourself out. Individual reviews will be linked here as I go along, just to really annoy everyone each time it pops up in their updates: Short Stories Lord Arthur Savile's Crime The Canterville Ghost Fables, Fairy Tales, and Other Really Really Short Pieces Filled with Morals The Sphinx Without a Secret The Model Millionaire The Young King The Birthday of the Infanta The Fisherman and His Soul The Star-Child The Happy Prince The Nightingale and the Rose The Selfish Giant The Devoted Friend The Remarkable Rocket Plays The Importance of Being Earnest Lady Windermere's Fan A Woman of No Importance An Ideal Husband Salomé The Duchess of Padua Next up... Vera, or The Nihilists.

  14. 5 out of 5

    outraged

    A must-have for every lover of literature. Oscar Wilde is a writer like no other. His words speak directly to one's heart, their soul, their subconsciousness.. He changed the way I understood writing and reading entirely, made me fall in love with his every word and get lost in his ideas, his thoughts, his world. I was 13 or 14 when I first picked up a paperback copy of his complete works on a whim. I remember feeling a little doubtful for buying such an expensive book from an author I had never A must-have for every lover of literature. Oscar Wilde is a writer like no other. His words speak directly to one's heart, their soul, their subconsciousness.. He changed the way I understood writing and reading entirely, made me fall in love with his every word and get lost in his ideas, his thoughts, his world. I was 13 or 14 when I first picked up a paperback copy of his complete works on a whim. I remember feeling a little doubtful for buying such an expensive book from an author I had never heard of before. Needless to say, I'm so glad I did. It's a book to read, adore, and re-read a thousand times.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia

    I love Oscar Wilde. His tales have been part of my life since I was a child. In my teenager years his plays were the "shelter" when I felt sad. His work is wonderful, but, in this special edition, you can find everything he wrote, even the poems (which are not so good as his other works to me). I have a 1968 edition of this Collins Classics with beautiful illustrations and a great introduction by Vyvyan Holland. Beautiful edition!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Wow - why had a not read Oscar Wilde before? He immediately jumped to the top of my list of favorite authors...and easily at that! I love how an author who wrote over 100 years ago can make me laugh out loud; I love that his jabs at Americans are still relevant. So far the Canterville Ghost is my favorite, and I am currently reading the Picture of Dorian Gray.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I received this book as a gift from my dad when I was about 13 years old. It's the special centenary edition. It was love at first sight. It's filled with my notes, my dried flowers (teen me was oh so romantic) and a piece of my soul.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Leila M

    All of his work is so truthful and blunt. I started off collecting a few works here and there and ended up having to get the complete works.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kris Larson

    I actually hate having all my Wilde in one volume. When I lived in my studio apartment and found myself alone of an evening, I would sometimes make tea and cucumber sandwiches and curl up to re-read The Importance of Being Earnest. But now I've got this great big book which refuses to be curled up with -- I should never have sold my individual Earnest. Still, it's nice to have access to Wilde-ian works I probably wouldn't own otherwise.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Geeta

    listening to audio book - (1)A woman of no importance (2)An ideal husband (3)Lady Windermere's fan (4)The importance of being Earnest (5)The picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde writing always wins best rating. Witty, entertaining...and the audio book was very well read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kristena

    Excellent full-cast audio performances of An Ideal Husband, A Woman of No Importance, Lady Windermere's Fan, and The Importance of Being Earnest. I skipped the dramatization of The Picture of Dorian Gray, though.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carol Mola

    Es mágico, super inmersivo.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Doreen Petersen

    Very interesting collection of Oscar Wilde's writings. If you like classics you'll love this one!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    Psst! Hey, Maureen, look what I found!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rita

    L'ARTE NEL SANGUE "Il ritratto di Dorian Gray": https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... "Racconti e fiabe": https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... *** Teatro: "La duchessa di Padova": https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... "Salomé"; "Il ventaglio di Lady Windermere"; "Una donna senza importanza"; "Un marito ideale": https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... "L'importanza di chiamarsi Ernesto": https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Wilde ha l'arte nel sangue, fa parte della sua natura: è l'unica s L'ARTE NEL SANGUE "Il ritratto di Dorian Gray": https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... "Racconti e fiabe": https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... *** Teatro: "La duchessa di Padova": https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... "Salomé"; "Il ventaglio di Lady Windermere"; "Una donna senza importanza"; "Un marito ideale": https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... "L'importanza di chiamarsi Ernesto": https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Wilde ha l'arte nel sangue, fa parte della sua natura: è l'unica spiegazione che viene in mente quando persino gli abbozzi delle sue tragedie sono impeccabili ("Il cardinale di Avignone"). È poi normale che le opere incompiute lascino invece l'amaro in bocca, vuoi per la monotonia ("Una tragedia fiorentina"), per l'insipidezza ("Constance o il signore e la signora Daventry") o per l'eccessiva enigmaticità ("La Sainte Courtisane"). Infine, "Vera o i Nichilisti", che inizialmente annoia per la tematica politica, conquista con un linguaggio raffinatissimo ed un'impareggiabile purezza dei sentimenti e delle intenzioni, per poi terminare, ahimè, in modo troppo frettoloso. *** "Poesie e poesie in prosa": https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... "De profundis": https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Le "Due lettere al «Daily Chronicle»" sono brevi ma appassionanti, nonostante non si tratti di opere di narrativa. Uso il termine "appassionanti" perché non si può fare a meno di schierarsi con Wilde contro la disumanità con cui i carcerati vengono trattati (la cui descrizione è brutale e disarmante) e condividere l'acredine dell'autore. Il peccato ti abbruttisce, ti contamina, ti danna l'anima, ma non ti rende automaticamente un animale. E dunque, prima ancora di correggere il delinquente, bisogna rendere giusta la giustizia stessa. "Il primo compito, forse il più difficile, è rendere umani i governatori delle prigioni, civilizzare i secondini e cristianizzare i cappellani." *** Saggi: Io e la saggistica siamo proprio su due pianeti diversi: nemmeno l'intervento di Wilde è riuscita a farmela apprezzare, tanto che ho trovato questi scritti incredibilmente pesanti e di difficile comprensione. Hanno comunque destato in me un discreto interesse, quanto bastava a non farmi interrompere la lettura. ★★★★☆: "Declino della menzogna" ★★★☆☆: "Penna, matita e veleno", "Il critico come artista", "La verità delle maschere", "Il ritratto di Mr. W.H.", "Alcune massime per l’informazione dei troppo istruiti", "Frasi e filosofie a uso dei giovani" ★★☆☆☆: "L'anima dell'uomo sotto il socialismo" ★☆☆☆☆: "Le radici della critica storica"

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jaimie

    *A Review for The Picture of Dorian Gray only* Five stars for Christian allegory. I don't think Wilde set out to write such an allegory, but in plumbing the depths of the human soul, as Wilde does so well, he certainly wrote a masterpiece about sin's affect on the soul and our absolute need for a saving grace. Wilde writes like an insider to both the hedonist point of view, represented by Lord Henry, and the theistic, represented by Basil Hallward, so well that it's a testament to his skill as a *A Review for The Picture of Dorian Gray only* Five stars for Christian allegory. I don't think Wilde set out to write such an allegory, but in plumbing the depths of the human soul, as Wilde does so well, he certainly wrote a masterpiece about sin's affect on the soul and our absolute need for a saving grace. Wilde writes like an insider to both the hedonist point of view, represented by Lord Henry, and the theistic, represented by Basil Hallward, so well that it's a testament to his skill as a storyteller and his eclectic life experiences. There are one or two slow chapters, but still a completely worthwhile read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Subramaniam Avinash

    I found about 40 percent of this collection terrific. The rest, not very interesting. In particular, I thought the stories he wrote for children between 8 and 80 were brilliant. And so was The Importance of Being Earnest.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bcoghill Coghill

    At this time, I am just reading Salome. I read the English translation and am now reading the French which is so beautiful. I do not speak French, so this is a bit of a handicap fut not fatal. More that can be said for the Baptist.

  29. 4 out of 5

    PinkAnemone

    Ich habe schon viel von Oscar Wilde gehört und einige Zitate von ihm gelesen, jedoch noch nie zuvor ein gesamtes Werk von ihm gelesen. Ein großer Fehler, wie ich zugeben muss. Er schrieb mit so viel Gefühl, Tiefe, Witz und immer mit einem gehörigen Seitenhieb auf die damalige Gesellschaft. Am liebsten würde man jeden noch so kleinen Absatz zitieren, jede versteckte Weisheit notieren. Sobald man in ein Werk von ihm vertieft ist, wird einem klar, dass dieser Schriftsteller seiner Zeit weit voraus w Ich habe schon viel von Oscar Wilde gehört und einige Zitate von ihm gelesen, jedoch noch nie zuvor ein gesamtes Werk von ihm gelesen. Ein großer Fehler, wie ich zugeben muss. Er schrieb mit so viel Gefühl, Tiefe, Witz und immer mit einem gehörigen Seitenhieb auf die damalige Gesellschaft. Am liebsten würde man jeden noch so kleinen Absatz zitieren, jede versteckte Weisheit notieren. Sobald man in ein Werk von ihm vertieft ist, wird einem klar, dass dieser Schriftsteller seiner Zeit weit voraus war. Er spricht Dinge und Gedanken aus, die damals für Empörung sorgten, aber die uns selbst heute noch beschäftigen und aktueller denn je sind. "Es gibt weder moralische noch unmoralische Bücher. Bücher sind gut oder schlecht geschrieben. Sonst nichts." (Oscar Wilde) Und seine Werke sind durchwegs gut geschrieben, manchmal mit ein paar Längen, aber durchwegs spannend und so manches Mal durchaus gruselig. Dieser vorliegende Wälzer beinhaltet seine wichtigsten und bekanntesten Werke: Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray (übersetzt von Alfred W. Fred) "Es barg das Geheimnis seines Lebens und erzählte seine Geschichte. Es hatte ihn die Liebe zu seiner eigenen Schönheit gelehrt. Sollte es ihn jetzt lehren, seine eigene Seele zu hassen?" (Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray / S. 85) Lord Artur Saviles Verbrechen und andere Geschichten (übersetzt von Frieda Uhl) "Eine Studie über die Pflicht" "Das Gespenst von Canterville" / Eine hylo-idealistische Novelle "Die Sphinx ohne Geheimnis" / Eine Radierung "Der Modellmillionär" "Das Bildnis des Herrn W.H." Deutungen (übersetzt von Paul Wertheimer) "Der Kritiker als Künstler (Teil I und II) "Der Verfall der Lüge" "Feder, Pinsel und Gift" "Die Wahrheit der Masken" Die Seele des Menschen unter dem Sozialismus (übersetzt von Paul Wertheimer) Sätze und Lehren zum Gebrauch für die Jugend (übersetzt von Kim Landgraf) "Sich selbst zu lieben, ist der Beginn einer lebenslangen Liebesbeziehung" (Sätze und Lehren zum Gebrauch für die Jugend / S. 480) Märchen "Das Granatapfelhaus" (übersetzt von Frieda Uhl) "Der Junge König" "Der Geburtstag der Infantin" "Der Fischer und seine Seele" "Das Sternenkind" "Der Schnee lag hoch auf dem Erdboden und auf den Ästen der Bäume. Der Frost brach unaufhörlich Zweig um Zweig, zu beiden Seiten des Weges, den sie gingen. Und als sie zum Bergbache kamen, hing dieser regungslos in den Lüften, denn der Eiskönig hatte ihn geküsst." (Das Sternenkind / S. 540) "Der glückliche Prinz und andere Märchen" (übersetzt von Rudolf Lothar) "Der glückliche Prinz" "Die Nachtigall und die Rose" "Der selbstsüchtige Riese" "Der treue Freund" "Die besondere Rakete" "Gedichte in Prosa" (übersetzt von Rudolf Lothar) "Der Künstler" "Der Wohltäter" "Der Schüler" "Der Meister" "Das Haus des Gerichts" "Der Lehrer der Weisheit" Lady Windermeres Fächer - Ein Schauspiel, das von einer guten Frau handelt (übersetzt von Alfred Brieger) Epistola in carcere et Vinculis (De Profundis) (übersetzt von Max Meyerfeld) Aus dem Gefängnis / Der Fall des Wärter Martin - Grausamkeiten des Gefängnislebens (übersetzt von Max Meyerfeld) Die Ballade vom Zuchthaus in Reading (übersetzt von Wilhelm Schölermann) Es hat einen Grund weshalb ich sehr ausführlich den Inhalt ausführe, denn dieser ist im Buch leider nur unvollständig und daher ist nicht ersichtlich, welche Werke nun wirklich darin enthalten sind. Ein weiteres Manko sind die vereinzelt auftretenden Rechtschreib- und Grammatik-Schnitzer. Für diesen Preis, ist dies jedoch zu verschmerzen. Ansonsten ist die Verarbeitung gut. Vor allem der Leineneinband ist ein Blickfang und daher ist dieses Buch auch im Regal schön anzusehen. Bezüglich der Übersetzung kann ich keine Vergleiche ziehen, da dies meine erste Leseerfahrung mit Oscar Wilde ist. Ich persönlich fand die Übersetzungen gut gelungen. Falls jemand Tipps für gelungene Übersetzungen hat, dann nur her damit und in die Kommentare schreiben bitte. Mich persönlich konnten vor allem die Märchen begeistern, welche so atmosphärisch geschrieben sind, sodass man sich in die Kindheit zurückversetzt fühlt und diesen tollen Märchen mit glänzenden Augen folgt. Die anderen Werke sprühen nahezu vor Sarkasmus und schwarzen Humor. Fazit: Obwohl dies ein Wälzer von knapp 800 Seiten ist, habe ich diesen verschlungen. Ob Schauergeschichten, Roman, Märchen oder Weisheiten, der Inhalt ist so facettenreich wie der Schriftsteller Oscar Wilde selbst, enthält nur wenige langatmige Stellen und lädt umso mehr zum Nachdenken ein. Ich bewundere Oscar Wilde für seine Offenheit und Direktheit und dieses Buch werde ich sicher noch mehrmals zur Hand nehmen, um darin zu schmökern. © Pink Anemone

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mizumi

    I took a while to think about it, and I've come to the conclusion I'm definitely going to need to reread this volume. I'm giving four stars for now, though I might get back to that and give it five. So, I read everything in this volume, from The Picture of Dorian Gray all the way to De Profundis, the final entry in the book. At first I kind of wondered about it, since it's not the final writing by Wilde exactly, but it made a lot of sense to put it in last. Wilde himself ties in almost everything I took a while to think about it, and I've come to the conclusion I'm definitely going to need to reread this volume. I'm giving four stars for now, though I might get back to that and give it five. So, I read everything in this volume, from The Picture of Dorian Gray all the way to De Profundis, the final entry in the book. At first I kind of wondered about it, since it's not the final writing by Wilde exactly, but it made a lot of sense to put it in last. Wilde himself ties in almost everything he's written so far, reflecting on himself and on what he wants to pursue after getting out of jail. That was a rather painful but understandable entry to end the volume on. I took a break after The Picture of Dorian Gray, which is definitely first on my reread list. It's rather lengthy at points, but Wilde's prose drew me along with the story, allowing me to still be shocked by the sudden twist, even though I knew it was coming. As for the short stories, I still really like The Canterville Ghost, because it's rather hilarious, though with a poignant twist in the end. I read it first in a compilation of Victorian ghost stories, and it was one of the two things that convinced me I had to read more by Oscar Wilde. I really liked the rest of the short stories as well, and most of them read as twisted or even morbid fairy tales in a way. The Nightingale and the Rose comes to mind. Then we continue with the plays, and out of those, I still prefer The Importance of Being Earnest, perhaps because it's much lighter in tone than the plays preceding it, and definitely lighter than those succeeding it in the volume. However, I'd already read it before (this being the second thing that convinced me to buy this volume), so maybe a reread is in its place for the other plays as well. I liked how very diverse they all were. I still have trouble reading poetry, but it's telling I read all of Wilde's poetical work in one day. Some spoke to me more than others, and I must admit I took a certain delight in catching pretty much all of the Greek/Roman mythology references immediately. That being said, this is where I felt the volume could have been helped with footnotes here and there. Sure, I've had French in high school and I can still read the Greek alphabet, but I'm not fluent enough to understand complex French sentences or even a short sentence written in Greek. As the reader is expected to understand it, especially the French, maybe a translation at the bottom would have helped. (Wordsworth editions seem to take the all-or-nothing approach on footnotes. For example, there was an honest footnote in Dracula on the British Museum, saying it's a museum. In Great Britain. You don't say. I mean, it's nice to know Stoker studied a bit there, but not relevant to the text. But okay, I digress. Point being, the Library Collection doesn't seem to have footnotes at all, even though at points I think they'd be nice.) Finally, we have the essays and De Profundis, the latter I already touched upon above. As for the essays, they were interesting, but took me a while to get into. I did really like The Truth of Masks, which talks about Shakespeare's plays and his emphasis on costumes, and how important it is to keep true to the place and period of his plays. This kind of made me regret not having taken up my big volume with Shakespeare's work before this one, considering the huge number of Shakespearean references throughout the volume, but I could have expected that I suppose. Oh well. My loss, I'll fix it before rereading. Talking about the volume as a whole, I think this is a great collection (aside from the lack of footnotes here and there, but okay, this is the digital age where dictionaries in any language are a mouse click away). I really love looking at the cover (the printing being in gold), the binding is solid, and most importantly, it's pretty easy to handle for such a big and heavy book. I've already experienced this with my Sherlock Holmes collection, hence my choice here. So, kudos to the Wordsworth Library Collection quality! This has been a lengthy and not at all insightful review, but ssh.

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