Welcome to the The Importance of Being Earnest read-a-long! We’re reading this book through August. You can see the reading schedule and guidelines on the Starting Post Page.
Week One: Read Act One
How do I start? I put a sticky note or two (or three) on almost every page, so apparently that method of keeping track of what I like isn’t going to work for this book. Can I just say that so far — I LOVE Oscar Wilde? I’ve seen two of his plays acted out, but never read anything by him. I already knew he made funny stories, but I wasn’t sure how much was the actors’ performances and how much was the writing. Now I’m tempted to say that it would take a pretty terrible actor to make Wilde’s work unamusing.
Favorite character: Algernon (aka Algy). Brilliant. So funny, just the kind of biting wit I really enjoy. I think I’d actually really like to hang out with him in person. Can you imagine sitting next to him at a dinner party? All you’d have to do is listen and you’d be amused the whole time!
Second Favorite Character: Lady Bracknell. Again, because of her humor – though hers doesn’t seem to be on purpose. “To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.” The satire that Wilde brings through her character is easily swallowed.
There are too many favorite lines to quote, so I won’t do all… but maybe just a couple, if you all can stand it:
Lane: I have only been married once. That was in consequence of a misunderstanding between myself and a young person.
Lady Bracknell: I would strongly advise you, Mr. Worthing, to try and acquire some relations as soon as possible, and to make a definite effort to produce at any rate one parent, of either sex, before the season is quite over.
Algernon: All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.
Jack: My dear fellow, the truth isn’t quite the sort of thing one tells to a nice, sweet, refined girl.
Now here’s one I have a question about. I watched the beginning of The Picture of Dorian Gray but since I have never read it, I don’t know if the following line was actually also in that book or if they took it from this play and added it to that movie (weird?), because it was definitely in an early scene. (Only they changed “woman” to “wife”.) Does anybody know – or have a copy of Dorian Gray that they can look at?
Algernon: The only way to behave to a woman is to make love to her, if she is pretty, and to some one else if she is plain.
Who’s Reading Along:
** Please don’t forget to come to this blog each Friday and share your thoughts in the comments section of the weekly The Importance of Being Earnest discussion (see below for more information).**
Ian Cann (@thebeercolonel)
Meg @ A Bookish Affair
Patty@a tale of three cities
- If you are participating and I don’t have you on this list, please let me know in the comments section. I did not include people who said ‘maybe’ so if you have changed your mind and are definitely reading along with us, let me know so I can add you. Also, if you are not going to be able to join us anymore please let me know and I will take you off the list.
- Comments from the previous week’s reading will be closing Thursday afternoon (before the next discussion takes place on Friday). If you would like to be part of the discussion, please remember to comment before then.
- Each week, on Friday, share your thoughts about the previous week’s reading. If you are stuck on what to comment about, you can respond to my post or others’ comments. Regardless, you MUST check in each week (two weeks without a response and you will be taken off of the list — see below for details on why). You may have only one “off week” (which may not be the last week of reading for obvious reasons) and still be kept on the list, but you must let me know in the comment section by saying something like, “I’m catching up,” or “I’m still reading.” ***for all week’s discussions please refrain from posting ahead, even if you have read ahead, as to not spoil the book for others***
- If you are a blogger you may post a link to your blog if you are posting about each of the each week’s reading. If I, or other readers, have extra time we will gladly try to visit your blog; however, you must make sure to share your thoughts here on this blog, and be part of the main conversation or your comment will not be counted.
- If you go for two weeks without commenting in my weekly update comments section, I will assume you are no longer participating and will take you off of the list (*NEW GUIDELINE*, in order to get back onthe list, you need to a.) Have missed no more than two weeks of discussion, b.) Let me know you would like to be on the list again, and c.) consistently be part of the discussion for the next two weeks after requesting to be put back on the list.). This is in no way to be discouraging, but helps to keep the read-a-long organized (and helps me remember who’s completed what read-a-long…there (ahem) might be something fun for different levels of participants at the end of the year! Thanks!