Friday, March 18, 2011

The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wilde


Irish Short Story Week is an event hosted by Mel over at The Reading Life. He hopes to make it a yearly event in time for St. Patrick’s Day. I’m a little late to the party, since I’ve been busy with finals and my thesis. However, I did manage to read Oscar Wilde’s short story The Nightingale and the Rose.

The story begins when a nightingale overhears the Student lamenting over not being able to find a red rose. The Student’s Love told him that she’ll dance with him if he gives her a red rose. The nightingale finds a nearly-dead rose bush, and begs the bush to produce one rose. The rose bush replies that a red rose can only be made with a moonlit song and a nightingale’s blood. The nightingale, then, must make a choice.

This is the first time that I read anything by Oscar Wilde, and I was pleasantly surprised. The Nightingale and the Rose almost feels like a fairy tale in the beginning, and the passages are so beautiful, almost like poetry. It takes a sinister turn in the end, and I wondered what Oscar Wilde’s views on love were. Judging by this short story alone, he seemed rather bitter.

This sample of Wilde’s writing made me want to read more. I intend to read The Picture of Dorian Gray this year, but I haven’t found an actual copy—I might have to settle for the free Gutenberg e-book.

You can read The Nightingale and the Rose here.

7 comments:

mel u said...

Thanks so much for participating-great post on Wilde-I was in Fully Booked in Trinoma and saw a hard bound copy of Picture of Dorian Gray-personally I would just read it online to save the funds -look at Printread.com also as it has a lot of Wilde-in easy to read format

bibliophilica said...

I read Oscar Wilde's fairy tales/short stories years ago and really loved them. My favorites were The Selfish Giant and The Happy Prince, but I remember The Nightingale and the Rose fondly as well. I'll be re-reading The Selfish Giant sometime this year as part of my short story reading project.

I suspect you will really like The Picture of Dorian Gray as well. It is one of my all time favs...

-Jay

Zibilee said...

I think you will love The Picture of Dorian Gray, and though it's the only Wilde I have read, it's inspired me to want to read much more. I need to seek out this story!

Nymeth said...

The first time I was exposed to this fairy tale was when I saw an animated versions of it on TV when I was very little. The fact that I still remember it so clear says something about how it affected me!

Avid Reader said...

Wilde is one of my favorite authors. I hope you read more of his work. Dorian Gray is brilliantly dark and The Importance of Being Easrnest is a great example of his hilarious wit.

simplerpastimes said...

I'd not heard of this story until just last week, but I think it's one I'm going to have to read. I read The Picture of Dorian Gray ages ago, and I'm pretty sure I liked it, but I barely remember it, so I'd like to read that again, too.

mel u said...

Darlyn-Hi just stopping by to personally invite you to participate in Irish Short Story Week Year Two which starts March 12-I have added more links on my resources page including links to lots of women writers from Ireland as well as many more short stories by Oscar Wilde-I hope your schedule permits you to join in

regards

Mel u

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...