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Complete Shorter Fiction (Oxford World's Classics)

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  1,490 ratings  ·  85 reviews
By all accounts the stories we know today represent only a fraction of those with which Oscar Wilde enchanted his listeners. Now for the first time in one volume we have a complete collection of all the short fiction he published, and it clearly shows his versatility and skill as a storyteller, too often overshadowed by his reputation as dramatist, critical theorist, and n ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published December 1st 1971)
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Ben Loory
Mar 22, 2009 Ben Loory rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ben by: mo
i don't think i've ever used the word "exquisite" before, especially in relation to anyone's writing, but the writing in these stories really is exquisite. the stories themselves are flawlessly conceived and executed; every other line a perfect quotable paradox. my only complaint is that it all got a little claustrophobic after all. so perfect, so finely-wrought, so heartbreakingly sad, so clever... it was all just a little bit too just-so. there are no car chases, no fistfights, no people yelli ...more
Although, I prefer Wilde's plays over his stories, this is a splendid collection of Wilde's short fiction. The stories written for children are my most favourite ones. They all are brilliantly crafted and achingly sweet, ending on a rather melancholy note. As you would expect from children stories, they all contain some kind of moral lessons, most of them promoting Christian values of self-sacrifice, charity, love and friendship. Often I had my heart in my mouth whenever a beautiful phrase or sc ...more
May 18, 2015 Daisy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Oscar Wilde, short stories, and classics
Awesome! I don't think I could ask for more from a short story collection. These stories were thought-provoking, original, beautiful, inspiring... it was brilliant. Yes, some stories were better than others but that's an occupational hazard with short story collections, and I didn't mind a bit of light and shade. Oscar Wilde's writing is just amazing - the descriptions, the characterisation (particularly the way the characters react to things) - I love it.

My favourite stories were Lord Arthur S
In most of his fairy tales and short stories Oscar Wilde attempted a seriousness, even a sobriety, that did not quite jell with the sardonic, witty persona he was developing. My theory on the nature of Wilde's tragedy is that his persona gained inner reality, as opposed to being merely a veneer to amuse and increase sales of his books, while the serious values suffered atrophy.

The serious values are conveyed in a few of the fairy tales, particularly "The Happy Prince" and "The Rose and the Night
I’ve always had a suspicion that Oscar Wilde is a prime example of style over substance. Yes the writing is arch and clever, the epigrams are well crafted and plentiful – but is there really anything else there? Is his fiction merely just an excuse for Oscar to show off his brilliant intelligence and keen wit? Is there much else going on behind that?

It’s something I raise knowing I’ll never reach a satisfactory answer, but this collection does contain examples for both the defence and the prose
Nina Rapsodia
Jun 21, 2014 Nina Rapsodia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Todo el mundo
Recommended to Nina by: Yo
Shelves: favoritos, 2013
No es un misterio que Oscar Wilde es mi escritor favorito. Desde que probé su narrativa (precisamente sus cuentos hace como tres años) me volví incondicional fangirl suya. Hace poco aprovechando una oferta me hice con sus cuentos completos, en una edición con un buen prólogo y con parte de la biografía del autor (la que me conozco bastante bien).

En esta edicion (bastante pequeñita no pasa de las 350 páginas) tenemos los dos volúmenes de cuentos que Oscar Wilde publicó en vida, aparte de un relat
A veces se nos olvida que Wilde, además de ser un dramaturgo y ensayista muy agudo, con un sentido de la ironía y la crítica social impresionantes, es ante todo un poeta finísimo. Esta colección de cuentos nos muestra al Wilde menos conocido, el reflexivo, casi filosófico: sensible, delicado, inmensamente humano, interrogándose acerca de Dios, de emociones humanas, de deseos, de sentimientos, de lo que de verdad es importante. Y conservando bajo todo eso una mirada crítica hacia la sociedad y su ...more
This volume contains all of Oscar Wilde's shorter works, including his fairy tales, which I had already read. The rest of it was new to me, although frankly there wasn't that much of it. The fairy tales are quite lovely though, by turns lyrical and cynical. They always seem to be heading the way most fairy tales do, but then there's a sharp and bitter twist, such as in "The Nightingale and the Rose". The nightingale's sacrifice and suffering is all for nothing because of a flighty young woman.

I like Oscar Wilde based on Dorian Gray, so I figured I'd try some more of his work. I really enjoyed "The Happy Prince," "The Nightingale and the Rose," "The Birthday of the Infanta," "The Fisherman and his Soul," and "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime." Others (like "The Portrait of Mr. W. H.") had to be trudged through.

Most of these are morality tales, and most of them include elements of fable (at least, talking animals or objects). Wilde sure follows the rule of three (especially in "The Fisherman
Lucy *Mrs Khalid*

I really ejoyed this book, even though we can't say the stories have happy endings.

In fact, it was quite the contrary. But all of them had important messages to give us and that gave a whole new meaning to everything that happened.

My favourites were The Happy Prince , The Nightingale And The Rose and The Selfish Giant .

They were all stories of selfless love and who can resist that?
A real mixed bag.

This collection is subdivided into four smaller collections, each with a very distinct character. The first subsection, "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories" was the most readable, and "The Canterville Ghost" in particular was a fantastic short story.

The second collection, "The Happy Prince and Other Tales", is one of loosely disguised moral lessons. They are 3-6 pages long each and pleasant without being exciting.

The stand-alone "Portrait of Mr. W.H." has its merits, b
This is a great collection of stories exploring the moral ambiguities of existence. There are elements of fantasy, satire, humour, and horrors in this collection – truly, no two stories are alike. One of the things that surprised me most about this collection was the obvious preoccupation with religious themes and beliefs that is prevalent in over half of the stories in this selection. The stories in this book are from Wilde’s early attempts at becoming a professional writer and it must be said ...more
Not what I was expecting.
A few of the stories demonstrated the social commentary I was expecting, but on the whole the stories were more Aesop than Saki.
Beautiful writing, and interesting if one is a fan or scholar of Wilde, but a bit of an odd hodgepodge.
Ella tiene estilo- dijo para sí, mientras caminaba a través de la arboleda-, eso no se le puede negar, pero ¿tiene sentimientos? Me temo que no. De hecho es como la mayoría de los artistas, es toda estilo, sin ninguna sinceridad. No se sacrificaría por los demás. Piensa tan sólo en la música, y todo el mundo sabe que las artes son egoístas. Sin embargo, es preciso admitir que hay notas hermosas en su voz. ¡Qué lástima que no signifiquen nada, ni tengan ninguna utilidad práctica!
-El Ruiseñor y la
Joan Araujo Arenas
Cada cuento de Wilde es distinto, aunque, si lo pienso bien, creo distinguir tres etapas o estilos marcados:

I) Los de juventud: Esta primera etapa está compuesta por El príncipe feliz y otros cuentos. Estos cuentos podrían considerarse dirigidos a los niños ―seguro los concibió para Cyril y Vyvyan― y que, además, podrían considerarse fábulas dado que, explícitamente o no, tienen una moraleja.

II) Intermedio: Esta segunda etapa está compuesta por Una casa de granadas. Estos ya no están dirigidos a
My first exposure to Wilde was a book of five short stories including "The Happy Prince", "The Birthday of the Infanta", "The Remarkable Rocket", the garden of the giant one with the heavy Jesus imagery, and "The Nightingale and the Rose". I'd read these fairly early in my life, and it was one of the enduring books of my childhood. After a brief disillusionment with teenage love (heh) I returned to "The Nightingale and the Rose" and clasped it to my heart, still in love with the idea of love and ...more
Alexander Arsov
Oscar Wilde

Complete Short Fiction

Penguin Classics, Paperback, 2003.

8vo. xxxvi, 280 pp. Edited with an Introduction [x-xxxi] and Notes [pp. 259-280] by Ian Small.

First published thus, 1994.
Reprinted with minor revisions, 2003.


Further Reading
A Note on the Texts

The Happy Prince and Other Tales (1888)
The Happy Prince
The Nightingale and the Rose
The Selfish Giant
The Devoted Friend
The Remarkable Rocket

The Portrait of Mr. W. H. (1889)

A House of Pomegranates (1891)
The Young
Oh, lovely! I quite adore Oscar Wilde's pretty language, especially since I read The Picture of Dorian Gray (although I'd been badly disturbed by the content for some time, but I suppose that's the point).

What discomforted me in this particular book of short fiction is the repeated biblical references. I disagreed with many of those interpretations, but in time I also realised that this was the author's way of understanding God; and honestly I could be severely biased against any view that oppos
Julie Rylie
I divided this review from tale to tale because there was too many of them, and my version is a Portuguese extremely old version so probably is not even the same book, and the short stories’ titles where translated by me, so it’s probably not the real name, but at least it’s written with synonyms:
1. The Happy Prince: It doesn’t look like something Wilde would write. It’s a sweet tale about poverty and what really is important to mankind.

2. The nightingale and the rose: Like most of the tales in
Charlie Rosenthal
Wilde, though certainly a fantastically gifted writer, seemingly does not work best in short story form. While I have yet to read his plays, the quality of the work presented in his Complete Short Stories is, to me, somewhat lower than that presented in The Picture of Dorian Gray or in his poetry. The high points of Wilde's short stories mostly come in his fairy tales, which are imbued with a sense of wonder in addition to a subtle notion of the exotic. The rest of his short stories, with the ex ...more
Mark Twain once said 'A classic is something everybody wants to have read, but no one wants to read.' Were Oscar Wilde's works considered as classics in Twain's time, this quote would surely have ended: 'with one exception...'
From the opening fairy tales to the closing Poems in Prose, Wilde maintains an immense and ineffable blend of emotions, never allowing the reader to drown in the underlying melancholy or powerful social commentaries. Satire and humour are gracefully interwoven throughout e
"It is always a silly thing to give advice, but to give good advice is absolutely fatal." (from "The Portrait of Mr. W.H.").
This book contains the collected short stories of Oscar Wilde. I must admit I never read anything by him before, but of course I knew him for the tons of witty quotes that exist by him. To me the short stories were a bit of a mixed bag. Most of them have some sort of moral - thus... advice -, but for me they ranged from accessible to incomprehensible. At the end of the day
Love Oscar Wilde! His short stories have wickedly interesting twists with a touch of black humour, but my favourites were the fairy tales! (The Happy Prince, The Selfish Giant, The Fisherman and His Soul, The Star-Child and The Young King.) It's been a long time since I read fairytales, but even with their positive morals-of-the-story they didn't lose Wilde's signature cynicism of human nature and made for a sufficiently balanced read (you know, not sickly-sweet like the stereotypical Disney fai ...more
All in all, I didn't really like these stories very much. Maybe I was expecting sparkling wit and dramatic plot twists more in the style of Maupassant, but they end up more sort of as fairly conventional morality plays depicting the characters as one-dimensional and naive, with more complex psychological motives hinted at but not explored. The tone reminded me more of William Blake or O. Henry. Not what I would have expected from such an infamous scourge of conventional society and morality. Als ...more
Further Reading
A Note on the Texts

The Happy Prince and Other Tales (1888)
--The Happy Prince
--The Nightingale and the Rose
--The Selfish Giant
--The Devoted Friend
--The Remarkable Rocket

--The Portrait of Mr. W. H. (1889)

A House of Pomegranates (1891)
--The Young King
--The Birthday of the Infanta
--The Fisherman and his Soul
--The Star-Child

Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories (1891)
--Lord Arthur Savile's Crime
--The Sphinx Without a Secret
--The Canterville Ghost
--The Model
La aguda crítica social de Wilde nunca decepciona: es hilarante, mordaz y certera. Sus cuentos teóricamente infantiles, sin embargo, son más melancólicos y doctrinales. La verdad es que es difícil añadir algo original a todo lo dicho sobre la obra de Wilde, así que me lo voy a ahorrar.
I gave this book four stars for three of its stories: Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime, The Canterville Ghost, and The Fisherman and His Soul. Nearly everything else in the collection struck me as heavily moralistic or just pompous. Out of those top three, the first two are funny, refreshing and smart, and the third, The Fisherman and His Soul, has stuck with me, and will probably never leave.
With such troubled personal life how could he write such simple, fairy tales or fable like yet still relevant stories? A clear picture of social lives and mind set of the then British aristocracy are understood from these stories, few are just humorous like The Canterville Ghost.
Mostly deals with necessary values and basic qualities of human nature and how we lack them. But the best part of all is not pessimistic view but the optimistic hope.
And I found another interesting thing in the last sto
This book includes a chronology, an interesting introduction and compiles: The Happy Prince and Other Tales; The Portrait of Mr. W. H.; A House of Pomegranates; Lord Arthur Savile's Crimes and Other Stories and Poems in Prose.

I believe that Oscar Wilde's writing is not only appealing in the linguistics sense, but also when it comes to content. Not only does he master the English language to create paragraph after paragraph of beautifully written descriptions and imagery, he is also intelligent i
Garrett Oates
I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed reading a book as much as I did today when I read this collection of Wilde's short stories. I sat by the fireplace with a glass of wine, and read it in one sitting. Wilde's stories have this poetic beauty about them that I haven't found in any other author's work. The imagery and diction is just so perfect, I really can't describe how brilliant it is, you'll just have to read it for yourself. One of the best stories in this collection is the children's t ...more
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Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, and a plentitude of aphorisms, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being E ...more
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