The Picture of Dorian Gray

by Oscar Wilde | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingKateKintailwing of Burke, Virginia USA on 8/2/2007
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingKateKintailwing from Burke, Virginia USA on Thursday, August 02, 2007
Bought at a library book sale; book is old but in good condition.

Even though I sort of knew what happened in this book- even though I knew what was eventual, beautiful, and terrifying, I still really enjoyed this- mostly because of Wilde''s style and storytelling abilities. Dorian Gray is someone you can''t look away from, like a train wreck. He''s fascinating to get to know, especially with all the subtleties and underlying themes.

When the exquisitely handsome Dorian Gray sees his portrait he dreams of remaining young forever while his painted image grows old and, in a sudden moment, he offers his soul in return for perpetual youth. While his beauty remains unblemished, the degradation of his soul as he surrenders to a worship of pleasure and infinite passion.

The Picture of Dorian Gray caused outrage when it was first published in 1890 and marked the onset of Oscar Wilde''s fatal reputation and eventual downfall. An evocative portrayal of London life and a powerful blast against the hypocrisies of Victorian polite ssociety it had become one of Oscar Wilde''s most celebrated works, full of the flamboyant wit for which he is justly renowned.

Journal Entry 2 by wingKateKintailwing from Burke, Virginia USA on Thursday, August 02, 2007
Adding to the GLBT Bookbox to find a new home. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 3 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, August 20, 2007
I've read Dorian Gray several times over the years, and enjoyed it each time - though for different reasons - so I won't keep this copy, but I did want to add my comments before sending the box on its way.

At first, I sought out this book as a horror story; I think I'd seen the Hurd Hatfield/George Sanders movie version and that inspired me to read the original. Back then I was more interested in the dramatic conclusion than in how things got to that point.

In my most recent re-reading of the book I was struck by a couple of things - first, I didn't have nearly as much sympathy for Dorian as I did the first time or two that I read the book. Sure, he's young and inexperienced at the start, and is influenced by stronger personalities, but he makes few and feeble attempts to go his own way or even to try and educate himself in philosophies other than those of Lord Henry.

And then there are the long descriptive passages about Dorian's explorations into the life of the senses, involving page after page of descriptions of jewels, costumes, paintings... I found these dull the first time I read the book, and now I find I can practically swim in them. Interesting... [It's also interesting to me that Lord Henry's first step in influencing Dorian is to give him... a book!]

[Side note: the wonderful "Unshelved" web-strip has a weekly book-club feature; here's their Dorian Gray strip!]

Journal Entry 4 by trevor4551 from Caloundra, Queensland Australia on Thursday, September 13, 2007
Taken from the LGBT bookbox, as this is one that's been on my 'to read' list for some time. Thanks!

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