28 July 2015
A Good Read
The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The novel tells of a young man named Dorian Gray,the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. Basil is impressed by Dorian's beauty and becomes infatuated with him, believing his beauty is responsible for a new mode in his art. Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil's, and becomes enthralled by Lord Henry's worldly views. Embracing a new hedonism, Lord Henry suggests the only things worth pursuing in life are beauty and fulfilment of the senses. Realizing that one day his beauty will fade, Dorian (whimsically) expresses a desire to sell his soul to ensure the portrait Basil has painted would age rather than himself. Dorian's wish is fulfilled, plunging him into a life of debauchery. The portrait serves as a reminder of the effect each act has upon his soul, with each sin displayed as a disfigurement of his form, or a sign of ageing.
There is no doubt that Oscar Wilde was a brilliant author, playwright and poet. Initially this book suffered terrible reviews and poor sales, and it wasn't until after his death that it was recognised as a classic.
I think the subject of the story is fascinating with excellent characters and I did enjoy it, but oh it was tedious in places. Page after page of dreary narrative of furnishings, collections, gems, clothing. I prefer a story with some narrative not the other way round. Attempted to read it 2 or 3 times before finally struggling to finish it.