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The Fabulous Ronald Firbank

    Imagine Oscar Wilde's prose and literary sensibilities magnified to a degree that causes even the smallest of details to appear large and fuzzy.  That's Ronald Firbank:  the last efflorescence of that hothouse prose of High Victorian, fin-de-siecle lavishness and lasciviousness.  Where Wilde gave us such fairy tales as  The Happy Prince and The Selfish Giant (a wonderful story of the virtue of giving and charity, which features prominently in the vastly entertaining and sad Stephen Fry movie Wilde), Firbank gives us The Artificial Princess whose moral seems to be that morals are best left to those who can afford them.  The tale is also infused with the absurd in that the Princess's Baroness is forced to take public transportation at the Princess's request and gets waylaid while waiting for a transfer bus.  So there you have it: amoral morality and absurdity wrapped up in the purest distilled sugar.  If that concoction sounds too strong for your stomach, definitely avoid Firbank because he will in turns bore and anger you (think Truman Capote but as a much better and odder writer).  If the admixture sounds enticing, check out these links:

A biography with photograph

Bibliography and photo from Dalkey Archives

Unfortunately, there does not seem to be much substantive information from the internet on Ronald.  That's too bad, he's a very entertaining writer.  If someone knows of a good site, please, shoot me a comment.  Thanks.

 

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WHAT WE'RE READING

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  • Book 1
  • Book 2
  • Book 3

 

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