The Picture of Dorian Gray (Vintage Classics)

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9780099511144: The Picture of Dorian Gray (Vintage Classics)

Dorian is a good-natured young man until he falls in with the cunning and quick-tongued Lord Henry, who unveils  to Dorian the power of his own exceptional beauty. As he gradually sinks deeper into a glamorous and decadent world of selfish luxury, he seems to remain physically unchanged in spite of age and the stresses of his corrupt lifestyle. But in his attic, hidden behind a curtain, his portrait tells a different story.

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Review:

A lush, cautionary tale of a life of vileness and deception or a loving portrait of the aesthetic impulse run rampant? Why not both? After Basil Hallward paints a beautiful, young man's portrait, his subject's frivolous wish that the picture change and he remain the same comes true. Dorian Gray's picture grows aged and corrupt while he continues to appear fresh and innocent. After he kills a young woman, "as surely as if I had cut her little throat with a knife," Dorian Gray is surprised to find no difference in his vision or surroundings. "The roses are not less lovely for all that. The birds sing just as happily in my garden."

As Hallward tries to make sense of his creation, his epigram-happy friend Lord Henry Wotton encourages Dorian in his sensual quest with any number of Wildean paradoxes, including the delightful "When we are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are not always happy." But despite its many languorous pleasures, The Picture of Dorian Gray is an imperfect work. Compared to the two (voyeuristic) older men, Dorian is a bore, and his search for ever new sensations far less fun than the novel's drawing-room discussions. Even more oddly, the moral message of the novel contradicts many of Wilde's supposed aims, not least "no artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style." Nonetheless, the glamour boy gets his just deserts. And Wilde, defending Dorian Gray, had it both ways: "All excess, as well as all renunciation, brings its own punishment."

Review:

"Oh! In what a wild hour of madness he had killed his friend! How ghastly the mere memory of the scene! He saw it all again. Each hideous detail came back to him with added horror. Out of the black cave of time, terrible and swathed in scarlet, rose the image of his sin." In their ideal of an exquisitely sensitive temperament that thrills to fine shadings in sensation, the principles of the aesthetic (or "decadent") movement are well suited to the tale of terror. No story exemplifies this better than Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. The sparkling wit and zest for life of Wilde's characters combine with cold-blooded acts of horror to generate a deliciously twisted sense of elegance and evil, civilization and degradation. Oscar Wilde, like Edgar Allan Poe, shows us that what we find loathsome and frightening can also be beautiful.

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY IRVINE WELSH. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099511144

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY IRVINE WELSH. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099511144

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Book Description Vintage Classics. Book Condition: New. 2008. Reprint. Paperback. Dorian is a good-natured young man until he falls in with the immoral Lord Henry and discovers the power of his own exceptional beauty. As he gradually sinks deep into a world of selfish luxury, he apparently remains physically unchanged and untouched by age. But up in his attic, hidden behind a curtain, his portrait tells a different story. Num Pages: 208 pages. BIC Classification: FC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 200 x 127 x 15. Weight in Grams: 156. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099511144

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