The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim. The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things. Show Excerpt a restaurant. How could I admire her? But tell me, what did she say about Mr. Dorian Gray?" "Oh, something like, 'Charming boy--poor dear mother and I absolutely inseparable. Quite forget what he does--afraid he--doesn't do anything--oh, yes, plays the piano--or is it the violin, dear Mr. Gray?' Neither of us could help laughing, and we became friends at once." "Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one," said the young lord, plucking another daisy. Hallward shook his head. "You don't understand what friendship is, Harry," he murmured--"or what enmity is, for that matter. You like every one; that is to say, you are indifferent to every one." "How horribly unjust of you!" cried Lord Henry, tilting his hat back and looking up at the little clouds that, like ravelled skeins of glossy white silk, were drifting across the hollowed turquoise of the summer sky. "Yes; horribly unjust of you. I make a great difference between people. I ch
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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."From the Publisher:
This book is perfect for AP classes and is often selected for inclusion on the AP exam. The notes, reading pointers, and vocabulary in this addition will also help students at a lower reading level get the most out of these classics.
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