Monday, July 8, 2013


The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Picture of Dorian Gray is the only published novel by Oscar Wilde, appearing as the lead story in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine on 20 June 1890, printed as the July 1890 issue of this magazine. The magazine's editors feared the story was indecent as submitted, so they censored roughly 500 words, without Wilde's knowledge, before publication. But even with that, the story was still greeted with outrage by British reviewers, some of whom suggested that Wilde should be prosecuted on moral grounds, leading Wilde to defend the novel aggressively in letters to the British press. Wilde later revised the story for book publication, making substantial alterations, deleting controversial passages, adding new chapters and including an aphoristic Preface which has since become famous in its own right. The amended version was published by Ward, Lock and Company in April 1891. Some scholars believe that Wilde would today have wanted us to read the version he originally submitted to Lippincott's.

The novel tells of a young man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. This famous London artist Basil Hallward shows his dear friend Lord Henry Wotton his new painting: a portrait of a young nobleman, named Dorian Gray. Basil is really attracted to Dorian’s charm and beauty, and considers the youth an inspirational gift for his art. Lord Henry asks the painter to meet Dorian and Basil; after some hesitation, he agrees. The young man becomes enthralled by Lord Henry’s eloquence and his worldly view. As a new kind of hedonism, according to Lord Henry, the only aims in life are to pursue beauty and to satisfy one’s own senses. He persuades Dorian not to waste his beauty, but to make use of it, and to indulge in any pleasurable experience. In fact, when Dorian realises that one day his beauty will disappear, he wishes that the portrait painted by Basil would age instead of him. His wish comes true, indeed he finds that the portrait’s expression changes and ages for every sin he commits. For eighteen years he experiments with every kind of vice, and step by step Dorian loses his innocence, behaving in a sinful way. In fact, he causes the death of a young and talented actress, who had fallen in love with him; he ruins and corrupts a lot of friends and young noble men; he even kills his friend Basil, but his outward appearance remains unchanged. Instead, the portrait, now old and ugly, is a sort of mirror of the effect of each sin upon his soul. At the end, he decides to be really good and to forget the past. He decides to destroy the portrait, and does so, in a fit of range, by stabbing it. The servants hear his cry, and call the police, who find the corpse of Dorian suddenly aged, and the portrait in its original form. They identify the corpse through the rings on his hand.
Dorian Gray syndrome
Dorian Gray syndrome (DGS) denotes a cultural and societal phenomenon characterized by extreme pride in one's own appearance accompanied by difficulties coping with the aging process and with the requirements of maturation. Sufferers of Dorian Gray syndrome may be heavy users of cosmetic medical procedures and products in an attempt to preserve their youth. Dorian Gray syndrome is not recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).

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