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The Picture of Dorian Gray and Other…

The Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Writings (1983)

by Oscar Wilde

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
I may get flamed for this, but I didn't enjoy this book at all. It took me forever to read and that was with skimming the seemingly endless pages of Wilde's prattling on about minute detail after minute detail. What I _did_ enjoy reading were the interactions between Gray and the other characters of the book, namely, Lord Henry and Basil. Sure, the ending was poetic, but it was so predictable that even that was ruined.

I must be a very shallow person since I am unable to see what the fuss was all about when it came to this "classic". ( )
  trishaj | Oct 7, 2014 |
I liked it. I know some people found Lord Henry pompous and overwhelming, but I enjoyed his (Wilde's) philosophical observations of human nature. I don't agree with all of them, but I found them intriguing and thought-provoking. While Basil was the artist who captured Dorian's physical image, Harry was the artist who created Dorian's soul. It was his influence on Dorian's much-vaunted innocence (a blank canvas, if you will) that provided the evil seeds that eventually sprouted into Dorian's twisted, degenerate soul. ( )
  darcy36 | Jul 8, 2014 |
"Oh yes, Dr. Chasuble is a most learned man. He has never written a single book, so you can imagine how much he knows." ( )
  helynrob | Aug 13, 2013 |
The Picture of Dorian Gray is considered a work of classic Gothic fiction with a strong Faustian theme. It is also a classic example of the Victorian novel and one of those books that can effect the reader in a powerful and unique way. The idea of selling your soul to the devil, like Faust as related by Marlowe, Goethe and others is an image that intrigues the modern reader. But there is in Wilde's version of this story a focus on the purity of innocence that is lost as one lives a life, whether filled with licentiousness or mere everyday experience.

The plot narrates the story of a young man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. Basil is impressed by Dorian's beauty and becomes infatuated with him, believing his beauty is responsible for a new mode in his art. Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil's, and becomes enthralled by Lord Henry's world view. Espousing a new hedonism, Lord Henry suggests the only things worth pursuing in life are beauty and fulfillment of the senses. Realizing that one day his beauty will fade, Dorian (whimsically) expresses a desire to sell his soul to ensure the portrait Basil has painted would age rather than he. Wilde gives the story his own imprimatur with the artistic twist and thus adds to the evidence of his genius that includes the drama, stories, poetry and criticism that he created. ( )
  jwhenderson | Aug 4, 2013 |
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is a Gothic novel with strong themes of corruption, innocence, and the “grand” Faustian bargain. The novel begins with Basil Hallward who speaks of a mysterious and beautiful young man, Dorian Gray, to his friend Lord Henry Wotton who has some very hedonistic world views. With elements of Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde and Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet, Wilde has created a critique of the Victorian era by exaggerating elements of the Romantic age, particularly the horror, awe, and aesthetic experience, which is embodied in Lord Henry and eventually Dorian Gray — in the most absurd way.

Dorian is an insanely narcissistic man who meets Basil and Lord Henry, two men obsessed with beauty and pleasure and its fleeting nature. Basil is more obsessed with Dorian’s stunning beauty as a fuel for his art, while Lord Henry pontificates his various theories about pleasure and beauty and its transient nature in an effort to garner Dorian’s favor and fuel his own ego that loves the art of influencing others. Dorian is ripe for Henry’s picking as he seems to be — at least initially — like a child seeking stimulation and knowledge, but like a child, he does not have the tools to question what he is told and what he experiences.

Read the full review: http://savvyverseandwit.com/2012/02/the-picture-of-dorian-gray-by-oscar-wilde.ht... ( )
  sagustocox | Feb 21, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Oscar Wildeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Weales, GeraldForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The artist is the creator of beautiful things.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"The Picture of Dorian Grey"
"Lady Windermere's Fan"
"An Ideal Husband"
"The Importance of Being Earnest"
"The Ballad of Reading Gaol"
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In the title story, a young man's quest for eternal youth and beauty ends in scandal, depravity and death.

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