Oscar Wilde’s only novel is the dreamlike story of a young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty.
In this celebrated work Wilde forged a devastating portrait of the effects of evil and debauchery on a young aesthete in late-19th-century England. Combining elements of the Gothic horror novel and decadent French fiction, the book centers on a striking premise: As Dorian Gray sinks into a life of crime and gross sensuality, his body retains perfect youth and vigor while his recently painted portrait grows day by day into a hideous record of evil, which he must keep hidden from the world. For over a century, this mesmerizing tale of horror and suspense has enjoyed wide popularity. It ranks as one of Wilde's most important creations and among the classic achievements of its kind.
The Sexy Nerd's Review. . .
A few years ago, I began a journey into reading all the classic horror novels. I tried reading The Picture of Dorian Gray last year, but it was a little steep for my wallet. So, as luck would have it, The Picture of Dorian Gray was made available to Kindle Unlimited subscribers. Well, will you look at God! Oook, I was so psyched. I’ve heard so much about the book and the various movies that have been produced throughout the years. I’m too excited to find the original black and white film to see how it measures up.
It is often said that when an artist creates, part of his/her soul is buried within their creation. Maya Angelou made a famous quote, which is my all-time favorite, “when a person shows you who they are, believe them.” Wow! Are there any truer words spoken!
However, in this case, Basil, the artist, was commissioned to paint a portrait of Dorian Gray. Mr. Gray, by all accounts, was a young teenager having met Basil through friends of his family. He sat for countless hours and days while Basil slaved away at the canvas creating his very own masterpiece. And, alas, what a masterpiece it was. Why, this portrait not only demonstrated Dorian’s good looks, but captured the essence of his very soul. How, might you ask, does an artist go about creating such a masterpiece? Well, to answer that fully, you’d have to read the book, but what I can tell you is all that you may have heard about this great classic is true and then some.
Dorian Gray asked a question of some of his friends while he sat having his portrait done. Why is it that once Basil fixates and captures my youth on canvas must it stay the way it is, at this very moment, but I will get old and not look the same? Why, it doesn’t seem fair that my portrait will be forever young, but I will not. He went as far as to state a man would sell his very soul to the devil to have the reverse be true. Hmm? That’s a very heavy price to pay wouldn’t you say?
As Dorian continued with his life well after the portrait was finished, he noticed that even the smallest of infractions and misdeeds he’d commit, his portrait somehow changed and not for the better. Yet, no matter how horrible a person he was, he remained forever young. You might think that is a gift, but is it really? What this novel demonstrates so well is everything we do; our energy and aura is in everything. Often humans hide behind masks, but sometimes a snap of a photo or a brush stroke against canvas, from the artist’s eye and hand, captures more than what is noticed by the beholder. It goes beyond mere sight but deep down in the depths of one’s soul. To capture an individual’s soul is an incredible feat. Makes you look at art and photos in a new light.
The Sexy Nerd gives The Picture of Dorian Gray five additional paints to create even more chaos than what was originally written. I am so glad I finally got to read this masterpiece. Wow! What an incredible story and masterful writing. If you’ve never read this classic, I encourage you to do so. There’s an undercurrent of poetic prose in the telling of Dorian Gray’s story. I learned later that the author was a poet as well. It made complete sense, and I picked up on it right away. The novel isn’t very long, but the contents within will leave you spellbound. It’s because of great novels like this that makes me an avid reader. I will always respect the written word and the authors who bring us such entertainment and great lessons along the way! Well, well done! Bravo!