Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Wilde, Oscar "The Nightingale and the Rose

Wilde, Oscar "The Nightingale and the Rose. Short Stories" - 1891

I'm not a big fan of short stories. I'm also not a big fan of reading plays. But - I am a big fan of Oscar Wilde, so I couldn't resist reading this.

"She said that she would dance with me if I brought her red roses," cried the young Student; "but in all my garden there is no red rose."

That's how this little story begins. A Nightingale hears this and helps the student to find the rose. The story does not end how we might like but short stories seldom do. They have a message they want to send in just a few pages. And Oscar Wilde, being the perfect writer he was, manages this perfectly.

I read this in a collection of short stories by Oscar Wilde and the other ones were also quite good.

From the back cover:

"An allegorical fable of love, sacrifice and selfishness. As with all of Wilde's short stories it embodies strong moral values and is told with an effervescence akin to that of the 1001 nights.

It is the tale of a lovestruck student who must provide his lover with a red rose in order to win her heart. A nightingale overhearing his lament from a solitary oak tree is filled with sorrow and admiration all at once, and decides to help the poor young man.

She journeys through the night seeking the perfect red rose and finally comes across a rambling rose bush but alas, the bush has no roses to offer her. However, there is a way to MAKE a red rose, but with grave consequences.

Other works by Oscar Wilde here.


  1. Oscar Wilde writes with astonishing beauty, never better than in his fairytales (heartbreaking as they are)

  2. I am a huge Oscar Wilde fan, I have enjoyed everything I read by him so far. If you are interested, I read a really good book about his wife (and him) last year, “Constance: The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs. Oscar Wilde” by Franny Moyle.