Title: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Author: Oscar Wilde
First Published: 1890
Genre: Classics, Horror, Fantasy
When I picked up The Picture of Dorian Gray I had no preconceptions, in fact I knew nothing of the book. My sister and many recommended the book and it was time. Boy was I surprised. It is not your typical Victorian novel. The main character Dorian Gray, is a beautiful young man who have everyone under his spell. Everyone seems to admire his looks, they want to be around him, they want to befriend him. After he was painted by Basil, a well known painter, it suddenly struck him that the charm of his beauty will fade, and while he will grow old and wrinkled, the picture will stand the test of time and will always remind him of what he had. He doesn't look at the painting as a great work of art, he in fact hates it.
His new friend Lord Henry, an older gentleman has a great deal of effects of young Dorian. Dorian tries to emulate Henry world of views and in the process becomes corrupted, vain, shallow and cruel. The book at times seems like a study of a human soul and personal values. Oscar Wilde was a poet, a highly educated man, studied psychology and was in interested in philosophy. It is very evident in his writings. His phrasings are absolutely stunning. You could simply quote any lines of the book.
When the book came out in the lat 19th century it was not met with high regards. critics called it nauseous, unclean, effeminate and homoerotic. Oscar Wilde had to rewrite many of his chapters, add few more and tone down some elements in his subsequent editions.
The novel was way a head of its time