Petra Eggs's Reviews > The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
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Jun 13, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction, reviewed, books-read-a-long-time-ago, 2016-150-reviews
Read from January 01 to 02, 2000

Possessing eternal youth and beauty produces exactly the same effect as sentencing a man to life without the possibility of parole. Both have nothing to lose and morals disappear before the desire for immediate self-gratification in all things. And so it is with Dorian Gray. It's a moral story so eventually his evil catches up with him and he dies, as does the criminal.

Is Oscar Wilde saying that it is man's essential nature, to be so internally psychopathic and selfish that so long as he can keep his reputation he will wreak havoc on people's lives and not care in the process of enriching his own?

Oscar Wilde was a man who held some very nasty views and only cared when extremely similar ones were turned upon himself. (He was imprisoned for homosexuality, but felt it was ok for Dreyfus to be imprisoned on a trumped-up crime but really because he was Jewish. He chose the wrong side on that one and lost even his best friend). I don't like the author, but I do love his prose.

I read this book years ago. But the psychological story of a man's realisation that there are no consequences to his actions, nothing is forbidden, everything is permitted, you never forget.
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Comments (showing 1-18 of 18) (18 new)

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Henry Avila A classic book that will always be read, the George Sanders film is pretty good too, Petra.


message 2: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Excellent review, Petra.


Dolors Many truths in this condensed, incisive review, Petra. Works should be judged by their quality not by the person who penned them (did we have a similar discussion involving Ezra Pound, the gullible moron?)


John spot on!


message 5: by Petra Eggs (last edited Mar 14, 2016 01:08PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Petra Eggs Dolors wrote: "Many truths in this condensed, incisive review, Petra. Works should be judged by their quality not by the person who penned them..."

Nope we did not discuss the vile and traitorous Ezra Pound, that must have been another of your (fierce!) friends :-)

Thanks John, Sabah & Deanna. Also for the film suggestion Henry.


Sketchbook Henry wrote: "A classic book that will always be read, the George Sanders film is pretty good too, Petra."

Mon vieux, I call it the Albert Lewin film. (LOL)


message 7: by Sketchbook (last edited Mar 14, 2016 01:55PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sketchbook Petra, OW was dying of alcoholism and syphillis at time of Dreyfus Case... he was a ghastly wreck. ~~~ Read the Henry James work "The Story of a Masterpiece," (1868). This surely inspired Dorian.


Petra Eggs Sketch, that is beneath you giving Oscar Wilde an excuse for his anti-semitism when it is written in so many of his books and not just limited to the Dreyfus Affair. In any case he was still up and about and wondering why so much of fashionable London had rejected him presuming they were as bad-minded as he was.

I might read the Henry James one day, thanks for the heads-up.


Sketchbook Have you expressed yourself the same on Shakespeare and The Merchant of Venice? ~~ How about GGreene's Stamboul Train, aka Orient Express. Consider poor Coral having to service merchant Myatt....it's tew howwid ! (You have a thing about OW and I know it's cos you admire his writing. I let pass...)


Petra Eggs I don't have a thing about Oscar Wilde it's just looks that way because all any of us know about each other is what we choose to say or who we review on GR.


message 11: by Sketchbook (last edited Mar 14, 2016 03:40PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sketchbook What we say is who we are >> sometimes. Sometimes scorching irony is missed - without voice - on the NET. (Those who know me well know I like to start humorous brushfires).


Petra Eggs Sketchbook wrote: " (Those who know me well know I like to start humorous brushfires). "

I know that. :-) But I never know when. It's a very selective self we all present online, even those who think they are totally open.


message 13: by David (new) - added it

David Petra,

An uncensored version of the Picture of Dorian was released about 5 years ago. I'm not sure how different it is.


Sketchbook @13 -- Wise words...


Petra Eggs Sketchbook wrote: "@13 -- Wise words..."

*faints*


Sketchbook Smelling salts, darl? Exit through the gift shop...


Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder* Great review. I haven't' read it myself yet.


Petra Eggs Erin (Paperbackstash) *Proud Book Hoarder* wrote: "Great review. I haven't' read it myself yet."

I hope you get round to it. It really is one of the all-time great classics. I prefer Wilde's prose to his drawing-room dramas all of which seem just silly and designed to showcase Wilde's wit (and ego).


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