The Picture of Dorian Gray (with an Essay by Jules Barbey D'Aurevilly)

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Mondial, Jan 6, 2015 - Fiction - 166 pages
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 Perhaps the book that created the most general discussion and criticism at this period was "The Picture of Dorian Gray," which appeared originally in Lippincott's Magazine in July, 1890, as the complete novel for that issue... Wilde at first demurred on the ground that he had not tried his hand on a long and sustained story, but fi nally gave his consent. The story seems to have simmered in his mind for some time, though after he had once begun it, it was quickly completed. Wilde has himself said that he wrote it in a few days. --- In a preface to this story, written for a later edition in book form, Mr. Basil Ward, the artist, tells of the genesis of the story. It goes back to the year 1884, when Oscar Wilde was often in Mr. Ward's studio. One of Mr. Ward's sitters was a young man of such peculiar beauty that his friends had nicknamed him "The Radiant Youth." Each afternoon Wilde watched the work advance, enchanting everybody meanwhile with brilliant talk, until at last the portrait was fi nished and its original had gone his way - rejoicing, without doubt, to be at liberty. "What a pity," sighed Wilde, "that such a glorious creature should ever grow old!" - "Yes, it is indeed," answered Mr. Ward. "How delightful it would be if 'Dorian' could remain exactly as he is while the portrait aged and withered in his stead. I wish it might be so!" - And that was all. "I occupied myself," says Mr. Ward, "with the picture for perhaps a quarter of an hour, during which Wilde smoked refl ectively, but uttered not one word. He arose presently and sauntered to the door, merely nodding as he left the room." Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly


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About the author (2015)

Oscar Fingall O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin in 1854. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and Magdalen College, Oxford where, a disciple of Pater, he founded an aesthetic cult. In 1884 he married Constance Lloyd, and his two sons were born in 1885 and 1886. His novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), and social comedies Lady Windermere's Fan (1892), A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1895), and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), established his reputation. In 1895, following his libel action against the Marquess of Queesberry, Wilde was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for homosexual conduct, as a result of which he wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), and his confessional letter De Profundis (1905). On his release from prison in 1897 he lived in obscurity in Europe, and died in Paris in 1900.

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