The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde Reviews
Description:ISBN 0141439572 / Author: Oscar Wilde / Genre: Classic Literature / A lush, cautionary tale of a life of vileness and deception or a ... more
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde ... 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.
Newest Review: ... the artist who paints Dorian and introduces him to Lord Wooton. Lord Wooton- the very frivalous and brash character, he ... more
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Customer The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde Reviews (26)
by - written on 05/06/03, updated on 22/09/04 (Very useful, 628 readings)
So many book, so little time. Compared with some I consider myself well-read, compared with the number of books on the market I feel I’m hardly literate. Rarely do I read a book a second time although I’ve got lots which would be worth it. Why have I decided to honour this novel with a second perusal? I read the German translation in my teens and since then Oscar Wilde has always been with me, so to speak. I’ve read his children’s stories, seen on the stage and read with my students The Importance Of Being Earnest, been to a brilliant West End performance of Lady Windermere’s Fan and have seen the film on Oscar Wilde starring ... Read the complete review
by - written on 26/04/03, updated on 04/05/03 (Very useful, 440 readings)
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ "It is the spectator, and not life that art really mirrors". ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ In "The Picture of Dorian Gray" the wonderful fop Oscar Wilde paints a bleak picture of the repellent side of human nature as the beautiful hero Dorian Gray ages not one jot between lewd acts and malefaction. Yet the sinister portrait of him hanging in the attic takes on all the pestilence, age and filth that befits the face of one so lost in hedonism. That portrait is an iconoclastic image of the age: it matters little if you have ever read the book but I would be surprised ... Read the complete review
by - written on 26/03/03, updated on 18/09/04 (Very useful, 491 readings)
'The Picture of Dorian Gray' was Oscar Wilde's only full-length novel. Like his plays, it is brimming with his characteristic half-teasing half-serious one-liners, and his personal views on life and art. At the start of his Preface he informs us that 'The artist is the creator of beautiful things', and then ends up with the statement that 'All art is quite useless'. It is partly autobiographical, in a sense that one of the three main characters is a thinly-disguised Wilde himself, and there are facets of him in another. At the same time, it is an extremely exciting, even horrific story. It is set in the aristocratic world of the ... Read the complete review
by - written on 12/09/08 (Very useful, 388 readings)
It was with a little trepidation that I began to read 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde. You see, I like to think of myself as a pretty intelligent human being and then the likes of Oscar Wilde and Stephen Fry come along and cause me to grin inanely while I pretend to know what they are talking about, when in actual fact my brain is just thinking 'I wonder if I could use chicken instead of lamb in Irish stew.' So I began 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' assuming I would not understand any of it but safe in the knowledge that I could tick it off my 'must-read' list and pretend that I did understand it and it was just too boring and unenjoyable to ... Read the complete review
by - written on 10/04/11, updated on 10/04/11 (Very useful, 113 readings)
As an exquisitely handsome young socialite, Dorian Gray appears to have the world at his feet. He is adored by everyone he meets, and is blessed to have wealth, good looks and an endearing nature on his side. Flitting between parties and events he becomes friends with talented painter Basil Hallward, who in turn introduces him to Lord Henry Wotton. With the title giving the game away a little, Dorian sits for Basil who paints an extraordinary portriat of him which captures his breathtaking appearance and seems to personify everything that is attractive about the young and naive Dorian. The portrait is painted early on in the book, and is a central element to ... Read the complete review
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