Sunday, June 6, 2010

Favorite quote or poem

Paula will be in Ireland this coming week and is not sure if her hotel will have wi-fi or wired internet connection, so she forwarded her Thursday post:

The main reason for my visit to Dublin is to see Stockard Channing play the aristocratic snob Lady Bracknell in ‘The Importance of being Earnest’ which has been my favourite play since I was in my teens.

Therefore it seems appropriate to quote from the play, although there are so many wonderful lines that it’s hard to know what to choose. But, apart from Lady Bracknell’s line ‘A handbag?’ immortalised by Edith Evans, the other line I am sure Stockard will deliver perfectly is in reply to Jack telling her he has lost both his parents: “To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”

Then, after Jack has confessed he was ‘found’ as a baby in a large handbag at Victoria Station (the Brighton line), Lady Bracknell concludes their interview by saying:

“The line is immaterial. Mr. Worthing, I confess I feel somewhat bewildered by what you have just told me. To be born, or at any rate bred, in a hand-bag, whether it had handles or not, seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life that reminds one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution. And I presume you know what that unfortunate movement led to? As for the particular locality in which the hand-bag was found, a cloak-room at a railway station might serve to conceal a social indiscretion - has probably, indeed, been used for that purpose before now - but it could hardly be regarded as an assured basis for a recognised position in good society.”

Oscar Wilde created a wonderful caricature of late Victorian upper-class snobbery!

And I’ll conclude with the quotation which has given me the title of my WIP, Fragrance of Violets:
“Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”


  1. Oscar Wilde was such a wit. I am thankful we get to experience it, but feel sad he lived in a time that condemned him so brutally.

  2. Great quotes...have an awesome trip!

  3. Reporting from Dublin - Importance of Being Earnest exceeded all expectations tonight. It was excellent - the actors' timing and their facial expressions when delivering the classic lines were perfect. Stockard's Lady Bracknell was great - different from what I've seen in other productions (and I've seen quite a few over the years) - less domineering and more human, but still standing on her dignity. Some of her classic lines had the audience (and me!) roaring with laughter and applauding.