The same can be said for Dorian Gray, the titular character from Oscar Wilde's one and only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. In the century or so since its initial publication in 1890, the fate of poor Dorian Gray has taken hold of the popular imagination.
Wilde's version of this narrative is particularly notable for its embrace of the hedonistic lifestyle of the , a late nineteenth century artistic movement that prized beauty and aesthetic experience over pretty much everything else—even bacon. Dorian Gray and its protagonist have become synonymous with the pursuit of pleasure, regardless of its moral consequences.
While he’s taken literature and film as inspiration before (see Dorian Gray, Edward Scissorhands and The Car Man) a revered celluloid classic like The Red Shoes is a risky proposition indeed, freighted with expectation and pressure.
The transformation is almost dreamlike. Yet I doubt that Wilde would recognize in our world the utopia that he dreamed aloud in “The Soul of Man Under Socialism.” A man who steeped himself in the literature of the ancient Greeks, who modelled his being on the writing of Balzac and Stendhal and Pater, who read Dante every day in prison, might have seen a new kind of hell in the global triumph of American-style pop culture. Medicine prolongs life and slows aging, but personal satisfaction is as elusive a commodity as it was for Dorian Gray. Prejudice wanes, ignorance grows, the world spins forward and backward. Few of us would wish for the return of Wilde’s London, with its opulent surfaces and savage heart. But Wilde might have been content to stay there, savoring his joys and sorrows. No one lives happily ever after. ♦
primarily as a moral tale; it "resides in the philosophical doctrine which the novel is intended, as a myth, to illustrate."
- Dorian's death is retribution for his "excessive self-love"
-Lord Henry is only safe because he never acts out the temptations he speaks of.
Literary criticisms abound regarding
The Picture of Dorian Gray
, with a number of differing opinions on how to read the text; by far the most popular reading is through the lens of aestheticism, though there are several other notable theories.
He is as interesting for people to study as the things he wrote.
Most criticisms examine Oscar Wilde alongside his novel andthemes applied to Dorian Gray are often used to analyze the author's life as well.
And why? Because we live in a culture where youth is idolized and age is the enemy of the people—the goal these days seems to be not just to stop aging, but to get younger.
We're not the first culture to embrace though. As we see in The Picture of Dorian Gray, our predecessors in the nineteenth century also longed for undying youth and beauty. In fact, the quest for the Fountain of Youth is one of the oldest stories there is; apparently, humanity in general has had a hard time getting over the fact that we all grow old and die.
Paratexts are important in the presentation and representation of a literary work. Genette uses paratext for referring to accompanying products (prefaces, postfaces, covers, footnotes, etc.) which present the text and shape the reception of it. Paratextual elements surround and extend the text to present it. The importance of paratexts increases in translated works, as the translations have to be presented in a target culture. The study of paratexts can be insightful in understanding and analyzing perception, reception and consumption of text in the target culture. Paratexts also define a translation, and generally define what a culture demands from a translation. In addition, translations have a different position in the polysystem; the multiple and overlapping systems. Literature is one of these systems, with literary works which are either at the periphery or center of the system. "The Picture of Dorian Gray" is the only novel of Oscar Wilde, the famous Irish writer and poet. It has been in Turkish for 76 years, and has been translated 24 times. The novel has been historically and widely criticized for its homoerotic and hedonistic content. By analyzing the paratexts, the study aims to put forward the changing norms in Turkey for such a text. The presentation and reception of such a work the Turkish polysystem, which is characteristically conservative and patriarchal, has changed throughout the history. So, the paper will analyze 3 different translations of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by using a diachronic descriptive method to analyze paratextual elements. Keywords: polysystem theory, paratexts, the picture of dorian gray, diachronic descriptive method
As with any good book, this novel raised quite and had critics denouncing Wilde for what they perceived to be his own innate immorality—and as a result, he responded with the famous "Preface" to the novel (published in its second edition) that explained his artistic beliefs. (Check out more discussion of the Preface in "") Altogether, The Picture of Dorian Gray reveals Wilde's philosophy more than any of his other works; reading it is an essential key to understanding his artistic mission as a whole.
Like Basil Hallward more of himself is thought to be written, at least in part, into
and some of his other works than he ever meant.