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The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
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The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891)

by Oscar Wilde

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
24,09440045 (4)13 / 1013
  1. 190
    The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (chrisharpe)
  2. 150
    The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (sturlington, Morteana)
    sturlington: Read Oscar Wilde at his finest.
    Morteana: Dorian Grey is Wilde in his darkest of moods, but Earnest is one of his lightest.
  3. 110
    The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings by Edgar Allan Poe (WSB7)
  4. 102
    Death in Venice by Thomas Mann (roby72)
  5. 60
    Against Nature by Joris-Karl Huysmans (roby72, Zeeko, JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Wie in Wikipedia zu 'Gegen den Strich' beschrieben: "Ein französischer Roman, der den Protagonisten in Oscar Wildes Roman Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray zu dekadenten Ausschweifungen inspiriert, wird häufig als Anspielung auf À rebours gedeutet. Wilde war - wie auch Stéphane Mallarmé - ein Bewunderer des Romans."… (more)
  6. 51
    The Stranger by Albert Camus (SanctiSpiritus)
  7. 84
    Perfume by Patrick Süskind (spiphany)
  8. 30
    The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill (OneMorePage)
  9. 30
    The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde by Neil McKenna (unknown_zoso05)
    unknown_zoso05: McKenna touches upon what influenced Wilde to write "The Picture of Dorian Gray".
  10. 31
    Oscar Wilde: A Certain Genius by Barbara Belford (veracity)
    veracity: Belford discusses both editions of Dorian Gray.
  11. 66
    The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (chrisharpe)
  12. 00
    Shadow Dance by Angela Carter (rbtanger)
  13. 11
    Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello (SandSing7)
  14. 00
    Picture of Evil by Graham Masterton (Scottneumann)
  15. 11
    A fehér tigris by Ervin Lázár (Lucy_Skywalker)
  16. 03
    Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber (Joles)
  17. 48
    Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: Heart of Darkness could be paired with Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray or the strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyse by Robert Louis Stevenson. In all three novels the authors depict the struggle of people against the forces of evil.
1890s (2)
Read (50)
Romans (26)
Unread books (1,089)
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English (369)  Spanish (10)  French (9)  German (2)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  Hungarian (1)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (396)
Showing 1-5 of 369 (next | show all)
Bravoooooo Mr. Wilde!
Well friends, this was my first time venturing into Mr. Wilde's work (outside of poetry) and quite frankly I am just: BLOWN AWAY.

I pictured him sitting at an old polished Victorian secretary desk, dressed like a frilly dandy, writing with a feather quill, sipping rose petal tea... while the afternoon sun peeked through his window.
I have never highlighted so many quotes and references that I wanted to research later. He is the epitome of what a writer should be.

Favorite Quote: "My dear boy, the people who love only once in their lives are really the shallow people. What they call their loyalty, and their fidelity, I call either the lethargy of custom or their lack of imagination. . Faithfulness is to the emotional life what consistency is to the life of the intellect - simply a confession of failures. Faithfulness! I must analyze it someday. The passion for property is in it. There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up."

Wilde did ramble on and on a bit during the middle prior to the climax, it was a little bit of a chore to endure this, but I did so with a pleasure that I was accomplishing something grand.

What a beautiful mind he has, what an eye for all of the important little details. *sigh* This next quote is liquid gold for a Poet's soul!
"The wind had blown the fog away, and the sky was like a monstrous peacock's tail, starred with myriads of golden eyes."





Beautiful dialog in-between main characters:
‘So you think that it is only God who sees the soul, Basil? Draw that curtain back, and you will see mine.’

More Dialog:
‘There was nothing evil in it, nothing shameful. You were to me such an ideal as I shall never meet again. This is the face of a satyr.’

‘Is it the face of my soul.’
‘Christ! what a thing I must have worshipped! It has the eyes of a devil.’

‘Each of us has Heaven and Hell in him, Basil,’ cried Dorian, with a wild gesture of despair."



There were numerous phrases written in French which I had to pause and translate. This is sheer brilliance, making the reader become more interactive and curious, drawing us all more into the story.

Example:
1.Sur une gamme chromatique,
Le sein de perles ruisselant,
La Vénus de l'Adriatique
Sort de l'eau son corps rose et blanc.
2.Les dômes, sur l'azur des ondes
Suivant la phrase au pur contour,
S'enflent comme des gorges rondes
Que soulève un soupir d'amour.
3.L'esquif aborde et me dépose,
Jetant son amarre au pilier,
Devant une façade rose,
Sur le marbre d'un escalier.


translates to:

1.On a chromatic scale ,
Breast dripping beads,
Venus Adriatic
Out of the water his pink and white body.
2.The domes on the blue waves
Next the phrase pure outline,
Swell like round gorges
Raised a sigh of love .
3.L'esquif addresses and dropped me ,
Throwing her mooring at the pier ,
In front of a pink façade,
On the marble stairs.


How Dorian feels about this piece of work: Entranced

"How exquisite they were! As one read them, one seemed to be floating down the green waterways of the pink and pearl city, seated in a black gondola with silver prow and trailing curtains. The mere lines looked to him like those straight lines of turquoise-blue that follow one as one pushes out to the Lido. The sudden flashes of colour reminded him of the gleam of the opal-and-iris-throated birds that flutter round the tall honey-combed Campanile, or stalk, with such stately grace, through the dim, dust-stained arcades. Leaning back with half-closed eyes, he kept saying over and over to himself:—

1.Devant une façade rose,
Sur le marbre d'un escalier. "


I have drowned in decadent literature. Nothing else will suffice.
I want to wear a soft pink Bacchante dress, drink jasmine tea and eat cheese with crackers while acting aristocratic among my sophisticated peers. But as I look around at zombies staring down at social media platforms while dressed in overpriced simplistic low quality clothing, I resort to locking myself up in my apartment and read another classic from the early 19th century.

( )
  XoVictoryXo | May 31, 2016 |
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Chronology
Further Reading
A Note on the Text


--The Picture of Dorian Gray

Appendix 1 Selected Contemporary Reviews of 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'
Appendix 2 Introduction to the First Penguin Classics Edition
Notes
( )
  E.P.G | May 30, 2016 |
The Picture of Dorian Gray– Wilde

4 stars

I do not like Dorian Gray and his creepy portrait. There is nothing at all likable about the man. I feel no sympathy for him. He does realize, early in the story that he can chose a more honorable path. He chooses his fate. And the moral of the story is……
Well, the moral is obvious. Oscar Wilde created a character and a tale that continues to provide stimulating food for thought. It’s significant. It’s timeless. It’s endlessly quotable. Even so, I simply did not like it.

I listened to an audio version performed by Edward Petherbridge. He gave a very atmospheric reading that captured the horror of the book, but it was a bit monotone. I felt his lack of emphasis caused me to loose some of the satire and the little bit of humor that Wilde wrote into a few of the early society scenes. I also had a Barnes and Nobles classic edition which was both helpful and interesting for its footnotes and commentary. After reading this book, I find that I am very interested in Oscar Wilde and his tragic life. I want to read more about him.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
READ IN ENGLISH

A friend of mine told me about The Picture of Dorian Gray and she is quite a fan of it. I wanted to read it as well, to see if it really was as good as she said. I enjoyed reading it. For me, it wasn't the best book I've ever read and there wasn't much surprise for me in it (my friend told me the story) but it was still interesting to read in my opinion. It took me quite some time to finish the book, but that hadn't to do with the story. It was also the first book I read online (instead of on paper) so I had to get used to that as well. ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
Wilde's horror story is a classic and so familiar that it may not seem worth reading. Everyone probably knows the general plot: Dorian Gray acquires a portrait that ages for him, ensuring that he will always remain young and handsome.

What I didn't realize until I read the novel is that the portrait also shows the effects of Gray's sins. Gray figures this out early on when he cruelly jilts his fiancee and she commits suicide; the portrait's face changes to reflect the cruelty of this act, but Gray's actual face remains unmarked and innocent. This allows Gray to live a life of debauchery without consequences. Wilde doesn't go into detail about what Gray's debaucheries were, only that they must be horrendous because he ruined many young lives, men and women, as a result. Certainly, I wanted to know more and felt a bit cheated by Wilde's vague hints on the subject.

The writing is quite witty in some parts, but it doesn't show the polish or biting satire of Wilde's plays, particularly The Importance of Being Earnest, my favorite work by Wilde. Wilde seems to go off the rails at some points, as in a chapter cataloguing in way too much detail Gray's various hedonistic obsessions. And I wasn't pleased that it was a book that sparked Gray's experiments in hedonism. But The Picture of Dorian Gray is a worthy read, particularly because it is a lot more -- and a lot more horrific -- than the story I thought I knew. ( )
  sturlington | May 25, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (37 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wilde, Oscarprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ackroyd, PeterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beraud, JeanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brassinga, AnnekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bristow, JosephEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Callow, SimonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Calzini, RaffaeleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cauti, CamilleIntroduction and Notessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clark, Emma ChichesterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Corcos, LucilleIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crossley, StevenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drew, John M LIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eugenides, JeffreyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaulke, JohannesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gómez de la Serna, JulioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gullvåg, HåkonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heuvelmans, TonAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, GarethDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaila, KaiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
König, Eva-MariaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kosztolányi, DezsőTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manso, LeoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mathias, RobertCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maurois, AndréIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mighall, RobertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Murray, Isobel M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Naugrette, Jean-PierreIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Novák, Jiří ZdeněkTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nuis, AadAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Page, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Piglia, PaolaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, TonyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sheen, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shi, YuanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Toledo, RubenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trugo, LuiIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Welsh, IrvineIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
White, EdmundIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winwar, FrancesIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Dedication
First words
The studio was filled with the rich odor of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amid the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink flowering thorn.
Quotations
'Your rank and wealth, Harry; my brains, such as they are—my art, whatever it may be worth; Dorian Gray's good looks—we shall all suffer for what the gods have given us, suffer terribly.'
'Harry,' said Basil Hallward, looking him straight in the face, 'every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself. The reason I will not exhibit this picture is that I am afraid that I have shown in it the secret of my own soul.'
He played with the idea and grew willful; tossed it into the air and transformed it; let it escape and recaptured it; made it iridescent with fancy and winged it with paradox. The praise of folly, as he went on, soared into a philosophy, and Philosophy herself became young, and catching the mad music of pleasure, wearing, one might fancy, her wine-stained robe and wreath of ivy, danced like a Bacchante over the hills of life, and mocked the slow Silenus for being sober. Facts fled before her like frightened forest things. Her white feet trod the huge press at which wise Omar sits, till the seething grape-juice rose round her bare limbs in waves of purple bubbles, or crawled in red foam over the vat's black, dripping, sloping sides. It was an extraordinary improvisation. He felt that the eyes of Dorian Gray were fixed on him, and the consciousness that amongst his audience there was one whose temperament he wished to fascinate seemed to give his wit keenness and to lend colour to his imagination. He was brilliant, fantastic, irresponsible. He charmed his listeners out of themselves, and they followed his pipe, laughing. Dorian Gray never took his gaze off him, but sat like one under a spell, smiles chasing each other over his lips and wonder growing grave in his darkening eyes.
Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.
The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Please do not combine with any adaptation, abridgement, etc.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Dorian Gray has just had his portrait painted. It is a perfect likeness of the quite extraordinary beautiful young man, and it prompts him to make a mad wish for eternal youth. In the years to come, he devotes his public life to and aestheticism-and his private one to decadence and debauchery.
AR7.7, 14 Pts
Haiku summary
Miroir, oh, miroir.
Dis-moi qui est le plus beau!
Je sais le plus laid.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375751513, Paperback)

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."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:24 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

An exquisitely beautiful young man in Victorian England retains his youthful and innocent appearance over the years while his portrait reflects both his age and evil soul as he pursues a life of decadence and corruption.

» see all 45 descriptions

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Audible.com

38 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

6 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439572, 0141037687, 0141442468, 014119264X, 0143106147, 0141199490

Urban Romantics

An edition of this book was published by Urban Romantics.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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