Yngvild's Reviews > A Florentine Tragedy

A Florentine Tragedy by Oscar Wilde
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U 50x66
's review
Jul 11, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: plays, satire

There are some works by acclaimed authors that are so astoundingly bad that we are left wondering whether they were written when the writer was twelve-years-old or drunk or both or, just possibly, they are deliberate satires overtaken by events. Oscar Wilde’s mercifully incomplete A Florentine Tragedy comes into this category.

When Wilde had the Irish upon him, he had a tendency to write mawkish short stories of mouth-puckering saccharinity, but he was never an incompetent writer. A Florentine Tragedy could only be played as a university rag by youths in drag or, of course, turned into an opera, as it was. If Wilde intended it as satire, he could not have known that it would one day become indistinguishable from the turgid produce of 21st century Young Christian Adult chick lit romance.
SIMONE. Sir Guido Bardi, you are welcome here, twice welcome. For I trust my honest wife, most honest if uncomely to the eye, hath not with foolish chatterings wearied you, as is the wont of women.

GUIDO. Your gracious lady, whose beauty is a lamp that pales the stars and robs Diana’s quiver of her beams has welcomed me with such sweet courtesies . . . blah blah blah

BIANCA. (to Guido). Kill him! Kill him!
--A Florentine Tragedy, Oscar Wilde (pre-1895)
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