This Vintage edition of The Plays_of Oscar Wilde contains the plays that made Wilde one of the most important dramatists of his time, including The Importance of Being Earnest, one of the great works of modern literature.
Oscar Wilde's plays demonstrate once again why their author must be seen as both an inaugurator and a master of modernism. In his best work, the subversive insights embedded in his wit continue to challenge our common assumptions. Wilde's ability to unsettle and startle us anew with his radical vision of the artifice inherent in the self's construction makes him our contemporary.
This edition is introduced by John Lahr, author of Prick Up Your Ears: The Biography of Joe Orton. The plays included are Lady Windermere's Fan, Salome, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, and The Importance of Being Earnest.
About the Author
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (b. Dublin, 1854) was an Irish playwright, who wrote one of the best loved comedies in the English language - "The Importance of Being Earnest" (1895). A leading wit and conversationalist in London society, his career was destroyed at its height when he was imprisoned for homosexual offences. Wilde was born in Dublin and educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and Magdalen College, Oxford. Settling in London, he became famous for his extravagant dress, long hair, and paradoxical views on art, literature, and morality. His first play, "Vera "(1880), a tragedy about Russian nihilists, was produced in New York to poor reviews. Success in the theatre came with the elegant drawing-room comedy "Lady Windermere's Fan". "A Woman of No Importance" (1893) was another success. Other works for the theatre were" An Ideal Husband" (1895) and the biblical "Salom "(1896), written in French for Sarah Bernhardt. Wilde flaunted his homosexual affairs, including his ill-fated liaison with Lord Alfred Douglas. Following a celebrated trial in 1895 he was sentenced to two years' imprisonment with hard labour. The sentence led to public humiliation, poor health, and bankruptcy. On his release in 1897 he left for France and remained in exile there until his death in 1900.
C. Gordon Olson was converted and called to ministry while studying engineering and majored in theology at Dallas Seminary. Serving in Pakistan in several significant ministries (1956-64), he founded the Pakistan Fellowship of Evangelical Students, now reaching thousands of students. He was Professor of Theology and Missions at Northeastern Bible College for 25 years, has spoken in 300 churches and was pastor of 4 in metro NYC, a Bible answer man on WFME for a decade, and a trustee of 3 mission agencies. He received the D.Miss. from Trinity Int. Univ. and missions text has been widely used in 6 editions since 1990.
Praised by the "New York Times Book Review "as "probably the most intelligent and insightful writer on the theater today," John Lahr has twice won the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, most recently for his work at "The New Yorker, "where he has written about theater and popular culture since 1992. Mr. Lahr has written sixteen books, among them the novels "The Autograph Hound "(1973) and "Hot to Trot "(1974); "Light Fantastic: Adventures in Theater "(1996); "The Orton Diaries "(editor, 1996); "Notes on a Cowardly Lion: The Biography of Bert Lahr "(California, 2000); "Dame Edna Everage and the Rise of Western Civilisation "(California, 2000); and "Prick Up Your Ears: The Biography of Joe Orton "(California, 2000).