This Is Oscar Wilde S Tale Of The American Family Moved Into A British Mansion, Canterville Chase, Much To The Annoyance Of Its Tired Ghost The Family Which Refuses To Believe In Him Is In Wilde S Way A Commentary On The British Nobility Of The Day And On The Americans, Too The Tale, Like Many Of Wilde S, Is Rich With Allusion, But Ends As Sentimental Romance

10 thoughts on “The Canterville Ghost

  1. says:

    The original Wilde Thing does it againSeriouslyhow does one not love on Oscar Wilde when he s throwing down the snarkyin this case, and in proper British fashion, against cocky, adolescent cultured Americans and their starched lip, tradition trapped English cousins A bounty of clever from start to finish, Wilde s tale is charming, engaging and pitch perfect For a story less than 30 pages long, Wilde accomplishes so much, using scalpel like precision in both his language and his plotting to tell a story with a little bit of everything The funny is considerable, the sadness and softer emotions are amply represented, and the brilliance is ubiquitous throughout My sole complaint is that I wish it were a bit longer, as I would have loved for Wilde to give himself time with these people and this setting PLOT SUMMARY Briefly, since this is a short story A family of flag flaunting United Staters acquire an historic English mansion from the thoroughly prim, thoroughly British Lord Canterville Throw in a murderous, aesthetically minded ghost with a penchant for high drama and theater, and you have a classic, joy inducing tale of clashing cultures, progress vs tradition, and Wilde s self mockery of his own philosophy of decadent aestheticism an added bonus that few beyond Wilde could have accomplished in this setting, you also have subtler themes of a deeper nature running through the narrative, such as penance, forgiveness, and redemption THOUGHTS I am a Wilde enthusiast, though my knowledge of his work is limited to this piece and The Picture of Dorian Gray, both of which I have loved His prose speaks to me and I find his comedic orientation and verbal bitchiness to be hand in glove with my own sense of humor His timing and delivery make me smile, whether he s commenting on his countrymen as having really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language to the reciting the casual arrogance of Mr Otis s response when Lord Canterville tries to dissuade him from acquiring the haunted estate I will take the furniture and the ghost at a valuation I have come from a modern country, where we have everything that money can buy and with all our spry young fellows painting the Old World red, and carrying off your best actors and prima donnas, I reckon that if there were such a thing as a ghost in Europe, we d have it at home in a very short time in one of our public museums, or on the road as a show. Wilde s humor is like a hammer wrapped in silk covered down It floats gracefully into your ear and then sucker punches you with its meaning Here, Wilde even aims his high powered criticism at himself, as the ghost, Sir Simon, is a thinly veiled reflection of the author Initially, we see Sir Simon, this artisitc spook with flair and panache, as a victim of the boorish Yankees who have invaded his haunt, and who are totally unmoved by any of his scare tactics They apply stain remover to the recurring blood stains, oil his chains to avoid excessively rattling, and medicate his evil laugh after mistaking it for coughing For them, he is simply a problem to solve It seems our artist can t get a break, and Wilde has us sympathizing with the frustrated spectre But Wilde slowly starts to show us that the ghost is far from innocent We learn of his previous murders and his complete amorailty and self centeredness Wilde slowly closes the trap and we begin to see the truth behind the ghost s genteel facade One line, in particular, that struck me was when he casually admitted to killed his wife because she was very plain, never had my ruffs properly starched, and knew nothing about cookery It s almost a throwaway line, but it really drove home for me the character of Sir Simon.Now don t go thinking based on the above that this is really a serious tale The humor is steady throughout and I was pretty much smiling from beginning to end reading Wilde s on target wit What a monstrous climate said the American Minister, calmly, as he lit a long cheroot I guess the old country is so overpopulated that they have not enough decent weather for everybody It s just that Wilde adds enough little splashes of depth, of emotion, to make the entire story resonant and, ultimately, enjoyable Yes, death Death must be so beautiful To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one s head, and listen to silence To have no yesterday, and no to morrow To forget time, to forget life, to be at peace You can t ask for better than that I want to make one final comment about Wilde s skill as it relates to his creative use of the setting As you read the description of Canterville Chase, you see a litany of characteristics that paint it as the quintessential gothic mansion Stone gargoyles, secret passageways, paintings of the previous Canterville residents, and even the stereotypical suit of armor as d cor enhancer Throw in some dark wood and stained glass windows and you have a haunted house clich that should be gloomy and positively oozing dread.But is it Of course not Wilde simply uses this benckmark so he can quickly and effectively turn it on its head So I loved this and I thought how Wilde took what started as a satire on the uncouthness of Americans and the stale traditionalism of the English, and turned it into something uplifting by marrying the best attributes of both was inspired I just wish it had been longer and the story had had a little time to breathe I can t wait to read of his work 4.5 stars HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION.

  2. says:

    This is Oscar Wilde s first published story, in 1887, a year before The Happy Prince, and five years after he d travelled in the USA It features his oft misquoted line We have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language. It s a curiosity funny, but mostly not in a Wildean way ghostly, but not remotely scary overdoing some stereotypes Americans , and underdoing others what ghosts can feel and do not quite a children s story, but not really an adult one long for a short story, but too short for a novella But who needs labels Hiram B Otis an American, as if you couldn t guess buys an English haunted house and moves in with his wife and four children They come from a modern country , so have no fear, because they don t believe in ghosts.Idyllic summer They heard a wood pigeon brooding over its own sweet voice, or saw, deep in the rustling fern, the burnished breast of the pheasant Little squirrels peered at them from the beech trees as they went by, and the rabbits scudded away through the brushwood and over the mossy knolls, with their white tails in the air. But As they entered the avenue of Canterville Chase, however, the sky became suddenly overcast with clouds, a curious stillness seemed to hold the atmosphere, a great flight of rooks passed silently over their heads, and, before they reached the house, some big drops of rain had fallen. PragmatismThere s a bloodstain on the floor which allegedly cannot be removed, but it succumbs to the power of Pinkerton s Champion Stain Remover Only to reappear next day The rational mindset prevails Even when an encounter forces reluctant belief, they are not scared Seeing a ghost of terrible aspect , Mr Otis only concern is the noise of the clanking chains, so he proffers Tammany Rising Sun Lubricator, which the ghost thinks insulting Worse still, three of the children are forever trying to catch him out and trip him up Literally They have no respect Illustration I ain t afraid of no ghost Ghostbusters, 1984Whereas Wilde shows comedy in pragmatism towards ghosts, in 1961, the Chinese Communist party used it for propaganda, as I found when I read Stories about Not Being Afraid of Ghosts immediately after this see my review HERE It s a strange collection TheatricalThe ghost, a veritable ghoul of 300 years proud standing, has many elaborate costumes and characters He is conscientious of his solemn duty to appear at regular intervals, and with the enthusiastic egotism of the true artist remembers his most celebrated performances The family s refusal to be scared, and their active attempts to outwit him leave him humiliated, angry, and vengeful SlapstickIt all turns rather slapstick Home Alone came to mind, which may be far off the mark, as I ve only seen it once or twice, many years ago, and no one is alone in this story Illustration He met with a severe fall Sympathetic villainI started to feel story for this ghost, even though he had murdered his wife the very darkness seemed to loathe him as he passed.EarnestOne of the children doesn t join in the taunting and traps When she meets the ghost and suggests that If you behave yourself, no one will annoy you , the dialogue could be between Jack and Algy in The Importance of Being Earnest see my review HERE It is absurd asking me to behave myself quite absurd I must rattle my chains, and groan through keyholes, and walk about at night, if that is what you mean It is my only reason for existing It is no reason at all for existing, and you know you have been very wicked. Illustration Almond blossom from van Gough Garden of Death You must weep with me for my sins, because I have no tears, and pray with me for my soul, because I have no faith. Towards the end, the tone changes dramatically The humour evaporates and is replaced with tears and metaphors Wilde s stories of The Selfish Giant and The Nightingale and the Rose came to mind There is even a barren tree that bears blossoms, and a nightingale As with those, the ultimate message is that love is powerful than death Oddities and linksThis joke felt out of character My father will be only too happy to give you a free passage, and though there is a heavy duty on spirits of every kind, there will be no difficulty about the Custom House, as the officers are all Democrats. I was surprised to learn that this story has inspired at least two heavy metal songs The Canterville Ghost by Austrian symphonic metal band Edenbridge Lyrics here and a recording here Dark Depth by Serbian thrash metal band Alister Lyrics here and a recording here Charles Laughton starred in a film version in 1944, details on imdb here Also, Sir John Gielgud in 1986, details on imdb here.I don t think I ve seen either You can read the story, with illustrations, on Gutenberg here.Illustration Suddenly there leaped out two figures

  3. says:

    The Canterville Ghost, Oscar Wilde The Canterville Ghost is a novella by Oscar Wilde It was the first of Wilde s stories to be published, appearing in two parts in The Court and Society Review, 23 February and 2 March 1887 The story is about an American family who move to a castle haunted by the ghost of a dead nobleman, who killed his wife and was starved to death by his wife s brothers It has been adapted for the stage and screen several times 2000 1390 136 9786006298023 19 .

  4. says:

    A Victorian ghost story by Oscar Wilde 4.5 stars Wilde deftly combines an occasionally grisly haunting, old fashioned sentiment, a small droplet of romance, and a large helping of dry wit in this 1887 novella about a rather brash American family that buys a haunted mansion in Victorian England This story makes fun of some British and American stereotypes of the day, but is oddly touching at the same time.Mr Otis, the American Minister whatever that means, or meant , moves his family into a mansion called Canterville Chase, despite earnest warnings from the prior owner, Lord Canterville a man of the most punctilious honour , about the ghost that s been haunting the home for 300 years, since 1584 Mr Otis dismisses the story, stating categorically that there s no such thing as a ghost.The Otis family the parents, an older son christened Washington by his parents in a moment of patriotism, which he never ceased to regret , a gravely sweet 15 year old daughter named Virginia, and two younger twin boys who would give Red Chief a run for his money has a surprise coming There is in fact a ghost and, like a true artiste, he takes a great deal of pride in his work you know, appearing in various bloody guises, breaking up engagements, driving people to suicide and such It doesn t take the Otis family long to admit they were wrong about the existence of ghosts But the ghost, too, has a surprise or two coming.It s a bit predictable, perhaps, but great fun for a ghost story, and a quick, light and enjoyable read I love Oscar Wilde s brand of humor Read it online or download it free here at Project Gutenberg The illustrated version has some wonderful old drawings.

  5. says:

    . . . . h bergement gratuit ..

  6. says:

    What a lovely ghost story this was This turned out to be the cutest ghost story for me lately.I have read Wilde the novelist, this time his story also made a mark When an American minister bought Canterville Chase A British Mansion , everyone said it was a foolish decision because the place was haunted and there was no doubt in it But the American minister believed and said that there was no such thing, as a ghost, and I guess the laws of nature are not going to be suspended for the British aristocracy Listening to it the owner of the Canterville replied, If you don t mind a ghost in the house, It is all right Only you must remember I warned you A few weeks after, the purchase was concluded and the family of the American minister shifted to the Canterville Chase.Then there begins the holy terror of a ghost There appears a red blood stain in the sitting room which comes again and again, even after wiping it multiple times An old man of terrible aspect, his eyes as red burning coal, long gray hair fell over his shoulder in a matted coil, soiled and ragged garments with antique cut, wrists and ankles hung with heavy manacles and rusty gyves, appears and terrorises the minister s family Many fearful things happened but I was not affrighted as a reader In fact, I enjoyed Ghost s terrorizing the family There was an obvious reason behind it The most charming thing about this story is the wit and humor that is wonderfully incorporated by Wilde in this ghostly plot.Not only this family faces new experiences in this mansion, this strange ghost also faces some odd but very curious experiences with this family that he had never faced, in a brilliant and uninterrupted career of three hundred years.This was a refreshing treat, as a quick read A delightful story, written in a very witty way The most delightful and colorful character of the story is the Ghost itself and you can surely fall in love with him.

  7. says:

    3,5 Este cuento tragic mico, trata sobre un fantasma que vive en el castillo de Canterville, y que vaga por sus rincones durante la noche, tratando de asustar sin xito a sus nuevos habitantes, una familia norteamericana insensible a los fen menos paranormales Es muy corto y se lee r pido Es ameno, por momentos hace re r y tiene un buen final Mi baja calificaci n se debe a que lo le con las expectativas muy altas, luego de leer el retrato de Dorian Gray, que me encant A pesar de eso, lo recomiendo, siempre es grato leer a Wilde.

  8. says:

    The Canterville Ghost is a charming tale, one of Oscar Wilde s best It is a ghost story, a comedy and a romance all rolled into one, told with the offbeat, rolling wit that only Wilde can tell.An American family moves into a haunted mansion in England, but it is they who torment the ghost with their irrepressible irreverence, finally driving the phantom to despair The lovely, charming daughter of the family, strikes up a friendship with the ghost, freeing it, with her prayer and tears.It is a tragic tale with a happy ending , a wonderful story for all ages.

  9. says:

    Review in English and in SpanishPersonally I loved this short novel by Oscar Wilde When I was little I had the opportunity to see an adaptation in cartoons of this work and I loved it, and thanks to reading this story I was able to relive this story again I like that it is something dark and that the characters are satirical, since this generates a balance within the work I recommended it for its landscapes, characters and plots A En lo personal me encanto esta novela corta de Oscar Wilde Cuando era peque a tuve la oportunidad de ver una adaptaci n en caricaturas de esta obra y la amaba, y gracias a leer este cuento pude revivir esta historia de nuevo Me gusta que sea algo oscura y que los personajes sean sat ricos, ya que esto genera un equilibrio dentro de la obra La recomend por su paisajes, personajes y tramas A.

  10. says:

    3.5 estrellas en realidad.La escritura fue preciosa, cargada con un sentido del humor justo para hacerme re r en varias ocasiones.Sir Sim n me encant , y la familia Otis era muy divertida.Igual qued con la duda de que pas entre Virgina y el fantasma Pero me encant , leer m s obras del autor.