Dorian is a good-natured young man until he discovers the power of his own exceptional beauty. As he gradually sinks deep into a frivolous, glamorous world of selfish luxury, he apparently remains physically unchanged by the stresses of his corrupt lifestyle and untouched by age. But up in his attic, hidden behind a curtain, his portrait tells a different story.
First published in 1890 in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine and the following year in novel form, The Picture of Dorian Gray categorically changed Victorian Britain and the landscape of literature. An ostentatious, self-confessed aesthete, known for his wit and intellect, Wilde not only had to endure his prose being labeled "poisonous" and "vulgar," but also suffer its use as evidence in the ensuing trial, resulting in his eventual imprisonment for crimes of "gross indecency." Frankel's introduction provides a deft preliminary analysis of the novel itself exploring etymology and extensive editorial alterations (both accidental and deliberate) and offers valuable insight into the socio-cultural juxtaposition of aristocratic Victorian society and the London underworld. The original typescript provides the unique opportunity to examine what was considered acceptable in both the US and UK at the time. Intriguing annotations allude to Wilde's influences and enterprising range of reference, incorporating art, poetry, literature, Greek mythology, philosophy, and fashion (certain to inspire further reading; an appendix is provided). Comparisons are drawn between Dorian Gray and Wilde's other literary output, as well as to the work of Walter Pater. Numerous illustrations subtly compliment Frankel s inferences. A fine contextualization of a major work of fiction profoundly interpreted, ultimately riveting.
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Poor old oscar
Poor old Oscar flamboyant, always seeking an audience drawn to the lime light like a moth to the flame. This novel augers his life and is portentous in it's depiction of narcissism and his ultimate fate. How he got away with publishing such and openly homoerotic book at the time I will never know.
The unnerving nature of the image, remaining immortal while we age and deteriorate is reversed as a young and beautiful man remains impervious to corruption and age, while his remarkable portrait whithers and becomes decrepit. The characters moral corruption is mirrored by the external corruption of his portrait.
This novel should be read in conjunction with the authors deprofundus, his melancholic but courageous account of his imprisonment.
I really liken Oscar. Fickle and vein, but the moments when he puts aside the mask, and transcends the soppy romanticism of his time reveals a true poetic and complex human being.
It free! What are you waiting for!
Picture of Dorian Gray
An absolutely enthralling read!