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The Picture of Dorian Gray altered the way Victorians understood the world they inhabited. It heralded the end of a repressive Victorianism, and after its publication, literature had—in the words of biographer Richard Ellmann—“a different look.” Yet the Dorian Gray that Victorians never knew was even more daring than the novel the British press condemned as “vulgar,” “unclean,” “poisonous,” “discreditable,” and “a sham.” Now, more than 120 years after Wilde handed it over to his publisher, J. B. Lippincott & Company, Wilde’s uncensored typescript is published for the first time, in an annotated, extensively illustrated edition.
The novel’s first editor, J. M. Stoddart, excised material—especially homosexual content—he thought would offend his readers’ sensibilities. When Wilde enlarged the novel for the 1891 edition, he responded to his critics by further toning down its “immoral” elements. The differences between the text Wilde submitted to Lippincott and published versions of the novel have until now been evident to only the handful of scholars who have examined Wilde's typescript.
Wilde famously said that 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, which saw Wilde sentenced to two years’ hard labor for gross indecency. The appearance of Wilde’s uncensored text is cause for celebration.
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."
Title: PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication Date: 2011
Book Condition: New
Book Description Harvard University Press, 01.04.2011., 2011. Auflage: Annotated, uncensored ed.. 295 S. altersgemäße Gebrauchsspuren, insgesamt in gutem Zustand, 2B 2B //Rechnung mit ausgewiesener MwSt. liegt bei.// Sprache: Englisch Gewicht in Gramm: 1011 23,9 x 22,6 x 2,0 cm, Gebundene Ausgabe. Bookseller Inventory # 22359
Book Description Hardback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR006623020
Book Description Harvard University Press, 2011. HRD. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # WH-9780674057920
Book Description Harvard University Press, 2011. Gebundene Ausgabe. Book Condition: Gebraucht. Gebraucht - Sehr gut Unbenutzt, aber geringe Lagerspuren - The Picture of Dorian Gray altered the way Victorians understood the world they inhabited, heralding the end of a repressive era. Now, more than 120 years after Wilde handed it over to his publisher, Wilde's uncensored typescript is published here for the first time, in an annotated, extensively illustrated edition. 304 pp. Englisch. Bookseller Inventory # INF1000399748
Book Description Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # ST0674057929. Bookseller Inventory # ST0674057929
Book Description Belknap Press, 2011. Book Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Bookseller Inventory # 0674057929-2-4
Book Description Belknap Press, 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. No evidence of use. Bookseller Inventory # 036062
Book Description Harvard University Press 2011-04-01, Cambridge, Mass. |London, 2011. hardback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 9780674057920
Book Description Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: Used: Good. Bookseller Inventory # SONG0674057929
Book Description Harvard Univ Press. Book Condition: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW Hardcover A Brand New Quality Book from a Full-Time Bookshop in business since 1992!. Bookseller Inventory # 2366158