|Oscar Wilde 16th Oct 1854-30th Nov 1900|
My first classic read is The Importance of Being Earnest, written by Oscar (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills) Wilde in 1895.
Oscar Wilde, the writer and poet, was born in Dublin, Ireland. Some of his works include: The Picture of Dorian Gray, in 1891 (his only novel), A Woman of No Importance 1893 and An Ideal Husband 1895.
The Importance of Being Earnest is one of his many comedies that he was known for. This play involved 'bunburying' -adopting an alternate persona for town and country, to escape from social customs. It was written in late-Victorian period and clearly represents and mocks this era. It was enjoyable to read all the niceties of genteel life knocked sideways by word and action.
We all know the famous 'A handbag' quote, but I liked this one: 'To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.'
George Bernard Shaw, a contemporary of Oscar Wilde viewed The Importance of Being Earnest as 'rib-tickling' but 'lacking in humanity.'
In 1895,Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for 2 years for gross indecency.
He died in Paris, France, in 1900, from cerebral meningitis.
On a lighter note. Let's not forget that he was involved in the aestheticism movement, a branch of philosophy that critically reflected art, culture and nature. I can now end with an appropriate epigram of Oscar Wilde: 'Art for art's sake.'