- Series: Dover Thrift Editions
- Mass Market Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Dover Publications; Reprint edition (October 13, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0486278077
- ISBN-13: 978-0486278070
- Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,626 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Picture of Dorian Gray (Dover Thrift Editions) Reprint Edition
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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." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. First published in 1890 in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine and the following year in novel form, The Picture of Dorian Gray categorically changed Victorian Britain and the landscape of literature. An ostentatious, self-confessed aesthete, known for his wit and intellect, Wilde not only had to endure his prose being labeled "poisonous" and "vulgar," but also suffer its use as evidence in the ensuing trial, resulting in his eventual imprisonment for crimes of "gross indecency." Frankel's introduction provides a deft preliminary analysis of the novel itself—exploring etymology and extensive editorial alterations (both accidental and deliberate)—and offers valuable insight into the socio-cultural juxtaposition of aristocratic Victorian society and the London underworld. The original typescript provides the unique opportunity to examine what was considered acceptable in both the US and UK at the time. Intriguing annotations allude to Wilde's influences and enterprising range of reference, incorporating art, poetry, literature, Greek mythology, philosophy, and fashion (certain to inspire further reading; an appendix is provided). Comparisons are drawn between Dorian Gray and Wilde's other literary output, as well as to the work of Walter Pater. Numerous illustrations subtly compliment Frankelÿs inferences. A fine contextualization of a major work of fiction profoundly interpreted, ultimately riveting. (Mar.) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
I was somewhat familiar with the Picture of Dorian Grey as he was featured in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The idea of someone trading their soul via picture for eternal youth was quite intriguing. What I didn't realize was how sinister he was. He was responsible for the death of a woman he thought was his true love, among other things. But he came off as a nice, sophisticated dandy. It reminded me a bit of Faust with a different spin. Quite enjoyable and very interesting that it caused such a hoopla when it was published.
But as a novel, THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY is wonderful and strange--if not entirely "successful". With this Annotated and Uncensored Edition of Wilde's book, we have its history and definitive text. The Contents:
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
Appendix A: Accidental Changes Introduced into the Text by J. M. Stoddart or His Associates
Appendix B: The 1891 Preface to THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
Notes of Wilde Editions
The annotations are in-depth, fascinating and informative, reflecting the era in which the novel was spawned, aspects of Wilde's biography, &c. Illustrations are plentiful and superb, with many in color, illustrations from the book, photographs of Oscar Wilde and his chums and lovers and enemies, various pictorial representations of the book's title character, and many of Aubrey Beardsley's irreverent illustration for SALOME.
I enjoy the novel as a novel. It is now a classic of supernatural fiction, and I think it has been in-print ever since its first book appearance, or shortly afterward when Robert Ross worked so diligently to bring Wilde's works back into print. This is a beautiful and definitive edition.
Most recent customer reviews
A good edition, and one that I enjoyed re-reading.