Here's a novel idea….. Or should that be a novel novel idea? Oscar Wilde scholar Christopher S Nassaar has turned 'The Importance of Being Earnest' into a novel, taking many of Wilde's witticisms from elsewhere and cleverly woven them into the fabric of the narrative.

Yes, he's done that, but why? Can it not just be left alone? It wasn't doing anyone any harm.

Then again, we live in a society where Madonna was allowed record her own version of 'American Pie' and someone is seriously considering redoing 'Dallas' as a screwball comedy.

'Earnest Revisited' is actually a good book with plenty of witticisms and funny situations.

If you're not familiar with the play then you can have fun guessing which are Wilde's and which are Nassaar's. I say that because the book contains almost all of Wilde's wit along with some Wildean imitations of the author's own invention. Nassaar is qualified to author such an attempt, having written 'Into the Demon Universe: A Literary Exploration of Oscar Wilde' in 1974.

He is currently preparing a sequel to 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'.

Mark Cummins