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American Poems: Books: The Picture of Dorian Gray (Broadview Literary Texts)
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The Picture of Dorian Gray (Broadview Literary Texts)

The Picture of Dorian Gray (Broadview Literary Texts)
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  • List Price: $12.95
  • Buy New: $8.37
  • as of 8/22/2014 20:10 EDT details
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  • Seller:TextbookX
  • Sales Rank:259,236
  • Languages:English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
  • Media:Paperback
  • Number Of Items:1
  • Edition:New edition
  • Pages:280
  • Shipping Weight (lbs):0.8
  • Publication Date:January 5, 1998
  • ISBN:1551111268
  • EAN:9781551111261
  • ASIN:1551111268
Availability:Usually ships in 1-2 business days


Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis
In Oscar Wilde’s famous novel, Dorian Gray is tempted by Henry Wotton to sell his soul in order to hold on to beauty and youth. Dorian succumbs and murders the portrait painter Basil Haliward, who stands between him and his goal. Though in the end vice is punished and virtue rewarded, the novel remains one of the most important expressions of fin de siècle decadence. It is in the preface to the expanded edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray that Wilde coined the most famous expression of his aesthetic: "There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well-written or badly-written. That is all."

Like other Broadview Literary Texts, this edition includes a wide range of materials from the period that help to set the text in context. In particular, the editor locates the text both in relation to elements in the mainstream culture of the day (such as the aesthetes); and in relation to the gay subculture.

Amazon.com Review
A lush, cautionary tale of a life of vileness and deception or a 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."


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