Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Wilde and Shakespeare in Shaw's You Never Can Tell

Wilde and Shakespeare in Shaw's You Never Can Tell The friendly rivalry between Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde began when the two exchanged gift volumes of Widowers' Houses and Lady Windermere's Fan and continued until Shaw reviewed The Importance of Being Earnest.1 Wilde took exception to Shaw's theory that Earnest must have been an old play dusted off by Wilde. As evidence to support his guess, Shaw suggested the Gilbertian heartlessness of the play combined with its triple-decker title. Clearly Shaw was disturbed by the play's exemplification of a perfect ``art for art's sake'' aesthetic, divorced from social, political, or philosophical concerns. The play's perfection of form, in which not a scintilla of sentiment disturbs the immaculately trivial surface of the play, presented Shaw with an alternative to Ibsen that was strong enough a temptation to provoke from Shaw a formidable line of defense, first in his potentially insulting review and then later, after Wilde was away in prison, in You Never Can Tell, a play meant to displace Earnest from Shaw's path. As Ellmann and others have explained, Wilde's Salome allegorizes Wilde's own internal division between the paths laid out by two of his mentors in aesthetics, Ruskin and Pater, in the eponymous heroine's trap between http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png SHAW The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies Penn State University Press

Wilde and Shakespeare in Shaw's You Never Can Tell

Loading next page...
 
/lp/penn-state-university-press/wilde-and-shakespeare-in-shaw-s-you-never-can-tell-IkDUJktNy5
Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 The Pennsylvania State University. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1529-1480
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The friendly rivalry between Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde began when the two exchanged gift volumes of Widowers' Houses and Lady Windermere's Fan and continued until Shaw reviewed The Importance of Being Earnest.1 Wilde took exception to Shaw's theory that Earnest must have been an old play dusted off by Wilde. As evidence to support his guess, Shaw suggested the Gilbertian heartlessness of the play combined with its triple-decker title. Clearly Shaw was disturbed by the play's exemplification of a perfect ``art for art's sake'' aesthetic, divorced from social, political, or philosophical concerns. The play's perfection of form, in which not a scintilla of sentiment disturbs the immaculately trivial surface of the play, presented Shaw with an alternative to Ibsen that was strong enough a temptation to provoke from Shaw a formidable line of defense, first in his potentially insulting review and then later, after Wilde was away in prison, in You Never Can Tell, a play meant to displace Earnest from Shaw's path. As Ellmann and others have explained, Wilde's Salome allegorizes Wilde's own internal division between the paths laid out by two of his mentors in aesthetics, Ruskin and Pater, in the eponymous heroine's trap between

Journal

SHAW The Annual of Bernard Shaw StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: Oct 22, 2007

There are no references for this article.