First of all, I was brought up to think his name was
“George” Bernard Shaw. But this copy, and some bios insist
he hated the name George and didn’t use it at all. You can
call him anything but late to dinner (har-har-har). I’m in the
mood, you might have noticed, to read plays and this one was
another reread from an earlier date—and still fun to read after
all these years. It was written in . . .
1912 and first produced in German at the Hofburg Theater,
Shaw named his play after a Greek myth. The sculptor, Pygmalion, wasn’t necessarily fond of women, but after he sculpted an ivory statue of a woman, he fell in love with her beauty. He had created a goddess.
Well, we have a few goddesses hanging around the house, too,
that I thought I’d share with you . . .
and . . .
and this “tall drink of water”.
Maybe these would have been a more fitting cover for the play.
But Penguin Classics didn’t consult me.
Oh, the play? Very easy. Eliza Doolittle is a “guttersnipe” in London,
selling flowers for a living. She accidentally becomes acquainted with
Henry Higgins, a world famous linguist, and after a little stage business, Higgins
makes a bet with his friend, Colonel Pickering (you’ll like him best), that
he can make a fine speaking lady of Eliza Doolittle. Pygmalion creating
a beauty–get it?
You know what? He does it! And the ending? ——–not quite to the
pleasure of most of the audiences. Why? Read it and find out!
I say, Shaw wrote the play and he can end it any way he wants. No,
don’t just rewatch the film “My Fair Lady”. (Besides, the ending is
different in the film.) Read the play and check it off your
Summer Reading Plan for 2015.
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