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The Importance of Being Earnest

19 Jul

This month’s book club selection: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.

Another farce? Yep, the third.

Ugh.

It’s a quick read and funny, but I know I’ve read this play before and it’s not worth a second reading. There are lots of quips that have made it into the vernacular and have stayed so seeing them is like seeing an old friend. It’s the story of two friends who fall for women who can only love a man named Earnest. There’s some lies and mistaken identities, familiar tropes of the genre, that move the story along.

It’s very much like eating cake, sugary cake. I can appreciate the work involved in creating it and I can see that it’s pretty, but I can also see that it’s not all that worth consuming.

I got Masterwork Studies: The Importance of Being Earnest, A Reader’s Companion to find some extra insights that might make me like the play more. Well, I learned that some critics see this as being a great farce and defend that genre (‘cuz face it, it needs some defense). When the play was first produced, it was considered experimental and daring. Now it isn’t. Time does that.

Given the cost of going to a stage play, I wouldn’t bother seeing it performed. a classic checked off the list.

Next month we read Pygmalion.

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Posted by on July 19, 2011 in British Lit, classic, play

 

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