The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray

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With an Introduction and Notes by John M.L. Drew, University of Buckingham.

Wilde's only novel, first published in 1890, is a brilliantly designed puzzle, intended to tease conventional minds with its exploration of the myriad interrelationships between art, life, and consequence. From its provocative Preface, challenging the reader to believe in 'art for art's sake', to its sensational conclusion, the story self-consciously experiments with the notion of sin as an element of design.

Yet Wilde himself underestimated the consequences of his experiment, and its capacity to outrage the Victorian establishment. Its words returned to haunt him in his court appearances in 1895, and he later recalled the 'note of doom' which runs like 'a purple thread' through its carefully crafted prose.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 12mm | 144g
  • Herts, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1853260150
  • 9781853260155
  • 309

Back cover copy

Spellbound before his own portrait, Dorian Gray utters a fateful wish. In exchange for eternal youth he gives his soul, to be corrupted by the malign influence of his mentor, the aesthete and hedonist Lord Henry Wotton. The novel was met with moral outrage by contemporary critics who, dazzled perhaps by Wilde's brilliant style, may have confused the author with his creation, Lord Henry, to whom even Dorian protests, 'You cut life to pieces with your epigrams.'. Encouraged by Lord Henry to substitute pleasure for goodness and art for reality, Dorian tries to watch impassively as he brings misery and death to those who love him. But the picture is watching him, and, made hideous by the marks of sin, it confronts Dorian with the reflection of his fall from grace, the silent bearer of what is in effect a devastating moral judgement.
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About Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde, geb. 1854 in Dublin, studierte erst am Trinity College in Dublin, dann in Oxford, wo er sich mehr und mehr einem Ästhetizismus zuwandte, den er nicht nur in der Kunst, sondern auch im Leben zum Maß aller Dinge machte. 1884 heiratete er in London; zwei Söhne wurden geboren. In den folgenden Jahren entfremdete er sich zunehmend von seiner Frau und wurde sich wohl seiner homoerotischen Neigungen deutlicher bewusst. Gleichzeitig nahm sein Ruhm stetig zu; in rascher Folge entstanden Essays, sein einziger Roman 'Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray', die Märchen, Erzählungen und mehrere Theaterstücke. 1895 wurde er wegen seiner Liebesbeziehung zum jungen Lord Alfred Douglas in einen Prozess mit dessen Vater verwickelt, der ihm zum Verhängnis wurde: Wilde wurde zu Zwangsarbeit verurteilt und war nun gesellschaftlich, aber auch künstlerisch erledigt. 1897 aus seiner Einzelzelle entlassen, floh er nach Frankreich, unternahm noch einige Reisen und starb 1900 resigniert in Paris.
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Rating details

1,198,142 ratings
4.1 out of 5 stars
5 41% (485,735)
4 36% (434,491)
3 18% (211,451)
2 4% (49,555)
1 1% (16,910)
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