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The Picture of Dorian Gray (Macmillan Collector's Library)

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9781509827831: The Picture of Dorian Gray (Macmillan Collector's Library)
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Dorian Gray is young, arrogant, and devastatingly handsome. Confronted by his beauty in the form of a portrait, and struck by the terrible realization that he will age, Dorian wishes to retain his charms forever and finds his desire granted. He abandons himself to a life of hedonism, vice and murder, yet his face remains unmarked by his evil., But, hidden in his attic, the painting ages and corrupts, and one day Dorian must stand face to face with the man he has become.A perfect depiction of fin-de-siecle decadence, Oscar Wilde's only novel highlights the tension between the polished surface and murky depths of Victorian high society.This beautiful Macmillan Collector's Library edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray features an afterword by the playwright and actor Peter Harness.Designed to appeal to the booklover, the Macmillan Collector's Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector's Library are books to love and treasure.

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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."

Review:

"Every line that Wilde ever wrote affected me so enormously." --Morrissey, musician "A heady late-Victorian tale of double-living, in which Dorian's fatal, corruptive influence over women and men alike is suggestively indistinct." --Sarah Waters, author, Fingersmith

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

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