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My Fair Phonics

August 2008

On Pygmalion, which was later adapted into My Fair Lady:

…the only thing that matters in an adaptation of Pygmalion is the chemistry between Higgins and Eliza. As you probably remember, the two fall madly in love over the course of her tutelage. But you're not remembering Pygmalion, you're remembering My Fair Lady. According to his own introduction to the play, Shaw wrote Pygmalion to bring attention to the importance of phonics. I'm going to say that again: Shaw thought, or claimed he thought, he was writing about phonics. […]

"I cannot conceive a less happy ending to the story of Pygmalion than a love affair between the middle-aged, middle-class professor, a confirmed old bachelor with a mother-fixation, and a flower girl of 18." When you put it that way, he has a point.

The Criterion Contraption: #85: Pygmalion