The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray

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9780674066311: The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray

More than 120 years after Oscar Wilde submitted The Picture of Dorian Gray for publication in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine, the uncensored version of his novel appears here for the first time in a paperback edition. This volume restores all of the material removed by the novel’s first editor.

Upon receipt of the typescript, Wilde’s editor panicked at what he saw. Contained within its pages was material he feared readers would find “offensive”―especially instances of graphic homosexual content. He proceeded to go through the typescript with his pencil, cleaning it up until he made it “acceptable to the most fastidious taste.” Wilde did not see these changes until his novel appeared in print. Wilde’s editor’s concern was well placed. Even in its redacted form, the novel caused public outcry. The British press condemned it as “vulgar,” “unclean,” “poisonous,” “discreditable,” and “a sham.” When Wilde later enlarged the novel for publication in book form, he responded to his critics by further toning down its “immoral” elements.

Wilde famously said that The Picture of Dorian Gray “contains much of me”: Basil Hallward is “what I think I am,” Lord Henry “what the world thinks me,” and “Dorian what I would like to be―in other ages, perhaps.” Wilde’s comment suggests a backward glance to a Greek or Dorian Age, but also a forward-looking view to a more permissive time than his own repressive Victorian era. By implication, Wilde would have preferred we read today the uncensored version of his novel.

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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."

From the Publisher:

Founded in 1906 by J.M. Dent, the Everyman Library has always tried to make the best books ever written available to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible price. Unique editorial features that help Everyman Paperback Classics stand out from the crowd include: a leading scholar or literary critic's introduction to the text, a biography of the author, a chronology of her or his life and times, a historical selection of criticism, and a concise plot summary. All books published since 1993 have also been completely restyled: all type has been reset, to offer a clarity and ease of reading unique among editions of the classics; a vibrant, full-color cover design now complements these great texts with beautiful contemporary works of art. But the best feature must be Everyman's uniquely low price. Each Everyman title offers these extensive materials at a price that competes with the most inexpensive editions on the market-but Everyman Paperbacks have durable binding, quality paper, and the highest editorial and scholarly standards.

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Book Description HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. More than 120 years after Oscar Wilde submitted The Picture of Dorian Gray for publication in Lippincott s Monthly Magazine, the uncensored version of his novel appears here for the first time in a paperback edition. This volume restores all of the material removed by the novel s first editor. Upon receipt of the typescript, Wilde s editor panicked at what he saw. Contained within its pages was material he feared readers would find offensive --especially instances of graphic homosexual content. He proceeded to go through the typescript with his pencil, cleaning it up until he made it acceptable to the most fastidious taste. Wilde did not see these changes until his novel appeared in print. Wilde s editor s concern was well placed. Even in its redacted form, the novel caused public outcry. The British press condemned it as vulgar, unclean, poisonous, discreditable, and a sham. When Wilde later enlarged the novel for publication in book form, he responded to his critics by further toning down its immoral elements. Wilde famously said that The Picture of Dorian Gray contains much of me : Basil Hallward is what I think I am, Lord Henry what the world thinks me, and Dorian what I would like to be--in other ages, perhaps. Wilde s comment suggests a backward glance to a Greek or Dorian Age, but also a forward-looking view to a more permissive time than his own repressive Victorian era. By implication, Wilde would have preferred we read today the uncensored version of his novel. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780674066311

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Book Description HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. More than 120 years after Oscar Wilde submitted The Picture of Dorian Gray for publication in Lippincott s Monthly Magazine, the uncensored version of his novel appears here for the first time in a paperback edition. This volume restores all of the material removed by the novel s first editor. Upon receipt of the typescript, Wilde s editor panicked at what he saw. Contained within its pages was material he feared readers would find offensive --especially instances of graphic homosexual content. He proceeded to go through the typescript with his pencil, cleaning it up until he made it acceptable to the most fastidious taste. Wilde did not see these changes until his novel appeared in print. Wilde s editor s concern was well placed. Even in its redacted form, the novel caused public outcry. The British press condemned it as vulgar, unclean, poisonous, discreditable, and a sham. When Wilde later enlarged the novel for publication in book form, he responded to his critics by further toning down its immoral elements. Wilde famously said that The Picture of Dorian Gray contains much of me : Basil Hallward is what I think I am, Lord Henry what the world thinks me, and Dorian what I would like to be--in other ages, perhaps. Wilde s comment suggests a backward glance to a Greek or Dorian Age, but also a forward-looking view to a more permissive time than his own repressive Victorian era. By implication, Wilde would have preferred we read today the uncensored version of his novel. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780674066311

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