Saturday, September 26, 2015

Lord Arthur Savile's Crime - Oscar Wilde

Lord Arthur Savile meets a cheiromantist at Lady Windermere's house party. The lady is known for her wild ways and exotic tastes, so it's pretty normal that she has a cheiromantist around - someone who forecasts futures based on lines on hands. She flaunts the mysterious looking man who makes some reasonably heavy predictions. When he sees Lord Arthur's palm he freezes, makes up some cover up story and escapes.

When Lord Arthur follows up, the cheiromantist reveals that he sees a murder in his future. This upsets Lord Arthur who is all set to marry the beautiful Sybil Merton and wants the murder to happen before the marriage so all is clear. Lord Arthur sensibly postpones the marriage, and embarks on the murder which he wants out of the way. First, he identifies an aged aunt and tries to poison her and fails. Then he tries to blow up an uncle and fails again. And one day while walking about in his depression he sees the cheiromantist looking down at the river from a bridge and throws him over.

Deed done he marries Sybil and has children. One day while chatting with Lady Windermere he hears the lady say that she hoped Lord Arthur did not believe that cheiromantist because she never did.

Oscar Wilde at his irreverent best. The wickedness of the plot is so simple and unapologetic, and so right, that you wonder. 

No comments: