Renee began Throwback Thursday at Its Book Talk as a way to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books that she wants to read that were published over a year ago. Books that were published over a year ago are almost always easier to find at libraries or at a discounted sale price. As I have been sifting through my TBR list and purging those books that no longer hold my interest, I came across several from years past that I’d love to share with you!
Title: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.05
Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it ﬁrst appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting inﬂuence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”
This is a story I have revisited many times the last two decades. Wilde’s writing has always had a pull for me and The Picture of Dorian Gray is his best work. Some paint Gray as a villain, others as troubled and misunderstood. I fall more in the misunderstood and immensely complicated column. Wilde explores the natures of sin, the depths of morality and immorality, and it is this work that ultimately got him imprisoned. The Picture of Dorian Gray is a must read that will continue to have an impact for many, many years to come.
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