quarta-feira, 28 de março de 2007
4. Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, by Oscar Wilde


Lord Arthur Savile's Crime
, by Oscar Wilde (1891)

Yet another short story, but the longest of the 3 books (the Woolf book is a compilation of short stories, and even so I think it was smaller) I amicably borrowed from the library. I have explain the Oscar Wilde fascination, so I don't take much time in this opening paragraph, which has established itself as a sort of introduction, explaining why I have actually read the many-paged buggers. Either that or writing inanely until I recall what I originally intended to say. Enough of that.
This is, by far, the earliest black comedy I've read. I don't think it's classified anywhere as such, but it very well could be. Or should. Lord Arthur Savile's Crime is about a man who, unfortunately, believes in a chiromancer who tells him, at some society party, that he has a very dark future ahead. He will kill a distant relative. Knowing his destiny, Lord Arthur then chooses what some may call the insane way of dealing with such information: he decides to fulfill his duties as a murderer. He believes that if he does so, he can then live happily and marry his fiancee. Quaint option, but a very amusing one. From this point on we accompany Arthur's plans which always seem to fail. Distant relatives of his die, but of natural causes. Some others - and this is in the final part of the story, where he starts to use gadgets provided by a young revolutionist, Herr Winkelsomething, out of despair and frustration, since his other attempts have failed - don't even come close to that. His constant failures anger the bride's family, not because they know what he's up to, but simply because he delays the wedding further each time his plans don't succeed. Lord Arthur is constantly nervous and we can really feel that throughout the book, making the read even more fun. In my mind, he's the second largest font of profit to the makers of Nervocalm. His final solution, however, is rather cunning and denoting of a certain composedness that we hadn't seen before. Sure, he was a calculating, crafty bastard, but he always seemed somewhat ashamed of what he was doing, even if it wasn't with bad intent, as he constantly remembers us. The problems ends up being solved in the most ironic of ways, giving his new found happiness at the end of the book a rather amusing twist.
Really fun book - the author has a really great sense of humor. Maybe it wasn't supposed to be funny, but to me it was, so there. I hope to read some more of Wilde's short stories before I pinch Dorian Gray from someone.

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posted by black__cherry @ 05:56  
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