- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 2 hours and 4 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: NEAR,S.A.
- Audible.com Release Date: November 3, 2010
- Language: Spanish
- ASIN: B004AJ9Q02
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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La importancia de llamarse Ernesto [The Importance of Being Earnest] Audiobook – Unabridged
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The Importance of Being Earnest
It's fine. It's easy to read. It has introcutory material and other frills if you're into that sort of thing, and it's cheaper. Get that one or some other, not this one.
The illustrations in the book are the originals done by Aubrey Beardsley and they are only in Salome. I liked his illustrations in Macmillan's The Happy Prince and Other Stories but I found the ones for Salome nasty, grotesque and bordering on porn. Not to my taste at all.
The rest of the book still merits my five star rating both in content and quality.
Macmillan's Collectors library editions are well made beautiful pocket sized hard covers. There are two other Oscar Wilde books in the collection: Picture of Dorian Gray and The Happy Prince and Other Stories.
“If you are not too long, I will wait for you all my life.”
“Oh! Not at all, Gwendolen. I am very fond of being looked at.”
“If I am occasionally overdressed, I make up for it by being always immensely over-educated.”
“I don’t play accurately – anyone can play accurately – but I play with wonderful expression.”
“You see, it (her diary) is simply a very young girl’s record of her thoughts and impressions, and consequently meant for publication.”
The other terribly interesting thing in this play is the role of family. Not only are the families quite dysfunctional, even when people know who their parents are, but the title character is about as confused about how he fits into the complex world of family relations as it is possible to make someone. The thing that makes the line about the handbag quite so funny is that this handbag is about the closest thing he has to family in the entire world. As Pascal once said, we laugh and cry about the same things.
Wilde is, it hardly needs to be said, the closest thing to a God we are likely to have visit us on this planet. There are, for example, even now, more than 100 years after his death, entire companies that produce desk calendars that would not be in business if not for the endless supply of quotes he provides for the foot of Monday the Ninth of February and so on.
If humour comes in a spectrum and slapstick is at one end of that spectrum, then this is the other end.
For literary criticism of The Importance of Being Earnest see Raby's own Companion to the play. If you're really in deep, go for Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations series, for his selection of essays devoted to Earnest. Here is a distillation of Ian Gregor's conclusion:
...What distinguishes Shakespeare and Jonson from countless less successful dramatists, [is] the use of language. But whereas their language was a means to an end, and their end conforms fairly directly with Johnson's definition of the function of literature---"to enable readers to better enjoy life or to endure it," Wilde was concerned with the linguistic artifact itself with a kind of poetry which Auden has described as "a verbal earthly paradise, a timeless world of pure play...". To think of Wilde's art as merely "escapist" is to oversimplify the position. What he gives us is a completely realized idyll, offering itself as something irrevocably other than life, not a wish-fulfillment of life as it might be lived....The Importance of Being Earnest is the dramatic expression of a precise aesthetic ideology where art is seen as the supreme ordering and perfection of life....