"mauve Hungarian band/music"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Aug 30 22:15:05 UTC 2010

Thanks, Garson.  (Why I didn't myself find at least your first quote
Googling I don't know.)

I note that elsewhere in "An Ideal Husband" Wilde has Mrs. Cheveley
dressed in heliotrope (with diamonds), like the mauve of "Dorian
Gray" another slightly off shade of blue that Wilde was suspicious of
when worn by a woman.  (Both Mrs. Cheveley and the unnamed women of
"Dorian Gray" have histories and are not to be trusted.)

LORD GORING.  Oh! a genius in the daytime and a beauty at night!
MABEL CHILTERN.  I dislike her already.
LORD GORING.  That shows your admirable good taste.


At 8/29/2010 11:36 PM, Garson O'Toole wrote:
>Here is what one critic says in a footnote:
>732. mauve Hungarian band: dressed, presumably, in mauve, a rather
>labored aesthetic joke (in recognition that these were the 'mauve'
>Nineties, mauve, with green and yellow, being characteristic colours
>of the decade).
>Another critic contends that Wilde is practicing literary synaesthesia
>and says: we should not be surprised that mannerist poets like John
>Donne or Oscar Wilde have occasionally recourse to such downward
>transfers as "a loud perfume" or "mauve Hungarian music" and "the
>scarlet music of Dvorak," for witty effects.
>There is also this important advice given to Dorian Gray: Never trust
>a woman who wears mauve, whatever her age may be, or a woman over
>thirty-five who is fond of pink ribbons. It always means that they
>have a history.
>Surely this statement must be included in a complete analysis if any
>band member is female,
>On Sun, Aug 29, 2010 at 9:59 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> > Subject:      "mauve Hungarian band/music"
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > What did Oscar Wilde mean when he had Lord Goring say "I believe they
> > have got a mauve Hungarian band that plays mauve Hungarian music. See
> > you soon.  Goodbye."?
> >
> > Joel

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