The Picture of Dorian Gray
“Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things, and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lute. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?”
” Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it ﬁrst appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting inﬂuence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”
***** 5 stars *****
How to even blog about a book that was both amazing but left you feeling dark and hopeless. This was the only book that Wilde ever wrote. His dialogue was perfect and at times will stay with you far too long after reading. I will share my favorite ones:
“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”
“Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.”
“It is only shallow people who require years to get rid of an emotion. A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure. I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to
use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”
“To define is to limit.”
“You must have a cigarette. A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?”
……. and i felt like all the characters in this book, including the author despises women.
” My dear boy, no woman is a genius. Women are a decorative sex. They never have anything to say, but they say it charmingly. Women represent the triumph of matter over mid, just as men represent the triumph of mind over morals.”
“Never marry at all, Dorian. Men marry because they are tired, women, because they are curious: both are disappointed.”
“Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.”
“A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her.”
.… and marriage!!! ( But I’m sure if Wilde was still alive now He’d have a different opinion with it since anybody can be legally married in America. )
Oscar Wilde was prosecuted in 1895 because of a calling card left by the Marquess that stated Wilde was practicing the crime of Sodomy. During the trial they used this book to incriminate Wilde. See how powerful words are? But then again this was 1895. I loved this book not because it inspired me or that I loved any of the characters but for the fact that it was greatly written. It was just a simple and original story that can grab you right from the start. I do hope you read this book and love it as much as I did.
The latest movie Ben Barnes was cast as Dorian Gray. I thought he did a marvelous job. He was able to pull off Dorian’s innocence/naive self in the beginning and transformed into the cruel man he became. The movie on the other hand was not great. I felt like the screenwriter did not read the book. It was just utterly disgraceful.
1. Sam Smith – I’m Not the Only One
2. The Weeknd – Earned it
3. The Weekend – Wicked Games
4. Lenny Kravitz – Cant Get You Off My Mind
5. Sam Smith – Leave Your Lover