The Importance of Being Oscar

Thoughts IMG_1099 The Importance of Being Oscar: The Life and Wit of Oscar Wilde by Mark Nicholls,  St. Martin’s Press 1980, 238 pages

The Wit and Wisdom of Oscar Wilde Set Against His Life and Times

I suppose I might want to apologize about the snark and harsh tone this review could likely take.

What’s it ABOUT: Apparently the author’s name isn’t really “Mark Nicholls” so I really can’t figure out who he is or what he does other than fawn over how awesome Mr. Wilde is.

I am not trying to imply that Oscar Wilde is not awesome and he certainly said many witty things.

But this book is tedious. Repetitious. And lickspittly.

“Wilde averred.” I lost count how many times Mr. Wilde, His Excellency, averred something extremely witty in response to some boorish comment.

aver  verb \ə-ˈvər\

: to say (something) in a very strong and definite way


I had to look it up. Perhaps I am just not smart enough for this book. I looked up a TON of words and because I am now reading Jenny Lawson’s book Let’s Pretend This Didn’t Happen, I am wanting to toss in other choice inappropriate words. or WORD. Ahem.

I suppose you want an example. Great. Now I’m going to have to fetch it from the recycle bin and open it again. [OMG – I now cannot find any of the dreaded avers! Sigh.]

Wilde’s perception of life was remarkable. Listen: “A kiss may ruin a human life . . .” In that single truism is the essence of a million past and present life-dramas, and who but Wilde could have considered its inclusion in a play…?

His sheer audacity was the highlight of his writing: __

Hear the Master again on the wiles of women: __

On the social front, too, he led the field: __

(these are the first sentences of four paragraphs NOT taken at random but one after the other. Pages 88-89)

RATING: Two slices of pie

Book COUNT: Tenth of 2015

Perhaps LICKSPITTLE, defined as “a slimy grovelling and devious person” is too harsh. It was just that the writing style is so very irksome.

Would anyone like me to send along?  JennyTrisha? (on page 2, there is a reference that Oscar’s mother was ‘eclectic and eccentric’!!!)  Anyone else?


How about a photo of my lovely Oscar?



Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

11 thoughts on “The Importance of Being Oscar

  1. When I saw the title of your post, I thought it was going to be a post about your Oscar. While I would very much enjoy a post about your Oscar, I have to admit I rather enjoyed Care at her snarkiest. 🙂 Plus I learned a new fun word in lickspittle.

  2. Pingback: Feb. 27: | atage51project

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