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Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Stories de…
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Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Stories

de Oscar Wilde

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
2,175185,292 (4.13)14
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.
Membre:neeby
Títol:Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Stories
Autors:Oscar Wilde
Informació:Barnes Noble Classics (date?), Unknown Binding
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Etiquetes:B & N Classic

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The Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Writings de Oscar Wilde

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[Reviewed as part of The Illustrated Book Club. Contains some mild spoilers]

It's taken so long to produce the cover (apologies), that my memory of the story has dimmed somewhat - I'll write the reviews straight after reading, from now on!

I enjoyed the book greatly. Wilde's trademark wit is evident in abundance, and the wonderful series of aphorisms that preface the book lay out the principles of his Aesthetic philosophy in sparkling fashion. It's interesting therefore that the book itself seems to stand apart from these principles, even to criticise them. The 19th century Aesthetic movement rejected artistic realism, and sought to emphasise surface beauty and artifice, divorced from moralising. As Wilde himself puts it: "There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all." And yet, Dorian Gray is undoubtedly a moral book: for all its wit, its style and surface beauty, it is - ironically - a cautionary tale concerning those who judge by appearances and take amoral delight in sensuality. This in itself seems to be a criticism of some of the worst excesses of Aestheticism - an example of the type of paradox that Wilde loved to delight in? Or perhaps a sign that Wilde was attempting to use his own art as a form of self-criticism? Not sure. But anyway, it makes the book more fascinating and worth (at some point, I'm certain) a re-reading - which is, ultimately, the test of any book. For as Wilde also said, "If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all."

Gareth Southwell is a philosopher, writer and illustrator.
  Gareth.Southwell | May 23, 2020 |
I really enjoyed Dorian Gray and generally love all of Oscar Wilde's work (especially The Importance of Being Ernest which is so ridiculous). This book had an element of horror in a way that I was completely drawn into. The character of Dorian Gray was completely well developed as we watch him start out from a place not unlike anyone else and spiral into the person that he becomes (beautiful on the outside but hideous on the inside). I definitely recommend this one for those that are interested in morality issues, the concept of a person wearing multiples masks, etc. ( )
  justagirlwithabook | Aug 1, 2018 |
I remember reading "The Picture of Dorian Gray" in high school, but did not appreciate it as much as I do now. The decadence of the settings, the relationships, the atmosphere is both more obvious and intriguing to me than it was the first time I read it. The psychological aspect is reminiscent of Poe's "Telltale Heart" in some parts.
This edition also contains all of Wilde's plays. All the famous quotes attributed to Wilde are lines from his plays and not spontaneous quips given in conversation, as I had imagined. The plays are dated, but still have a certain charm. ( )
  Marse | May 20, 2018 |
I had not read any Oscar Wilde before this book but knew him to be very witty from the various quotations I had read. I also knew about his imprisonment, mainly due to this NPR story: http://www.npr.org/2016/10/20/498715561/reading-gaol-where-oscar-wilde-was-impri...

Of The Picture of Dorian Gray, I only knew it was a story about a man whose portrait ages instead of his body. And I was not even aware of the plays in this collection (Salome, An Ideal Husband, and The Importance of Being Earnest [I had heard of this one but did not associate it with Wilde]). So this book was an education for me.

The Picture of Dorian Gray was both more and less than I expected. Less because it is shorter and simpler than I had anticipated - the story is easy to explain and has a fairly simple plot: the beautiful young man prays to have the portrait age rather than himself and his wish comes true. But more because I didn't realize that the portrait was not only a record of Gray's age but also a surrogate for his conscience; the first changes in the portrait are changes in character that reflect his sins, not his age. Dorian embarks on a life of sensual pleasure and intellectual investigation and pays no heed to any consequences of his actions. His portrait bears all the weight of his misdeeds.

I understand that there is a more recently published annotated version of the novel and I would like to read that someday. I felt that I missed a great deal by not being well versed in late 19th-Century culture, London geography, or all the classical stories Wilde mentions. There are some passages that might as well be written in another language for all I understand the cultural and artistic references. I'm clearly not as well-educated as I like to think! I was longing for annotations and footnotes! I believe I may have missed much of the depth and symbolism of the story.

The plays in the book were all new to me, and I found The Importance of Being Earnest to be the most entertaining of those. I would like to see that one especially, but all of them really, performed on stage; I'm sure that would give me greater appreciation of Wilde's facility with language.

The book ends with "The Ballad of Reading Gaol," which is a somber and beautiful study on life in prison. I was surprised to see so much serious religious reference in this work, as I would not have thought Wilde would be the religious sort, although I do not know enough about him to be confident in that opinion.

Overall, I am glad I read this collection but was not blown away by it. I understand Dorian Gray, particularly, had a great and controversial impact upon its release but it seems fairly tame and predictable today, as do the plays, with the exception of Salome. I appreciate the author's way with words and his wit, but will not list him among my favorite writers. ( )
  glade1 | May 3, 2017 |
"Mr. Worthing! Rise, sir, from this semi-recumbent posture. It is most indecorous."--Lady Bracknell, The Importance of Being Earnest, Act I pg. 412

"There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick the up"--The Picture of Dorian Gray, pg 45

"There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves we feel that no one else has a right to blame us"--pg 84--(Damn strait, Mr. Wilde!) ( )
  little_boots | Dec 31, 2016 |
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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.

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