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The Picture of Dorian Gray: A Norton…
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The Picture of Dorian Gray: A Norton Critical Edition (Norton Critical Editions) (edición 2019)

por Oscar Wilde (Autor)

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615939,147 (4.1)4
This Norton Critical Edition includes:The 1890 (Lippincott's Magazine) version and the 1891 (book) version of the novel. Under the editorial guidance of Wilde scholar Michael Patrick Gillespie, students have the opportunity to comparatively read and analyze both texts of this controversial novel.Editorial matter by Michael Patrick Gillespie."Backgrounds" and "Reviews and Reactions" sections that allow readers to gauge The Picture of Dorian Gray's sensational reception and to consider the heated public debate over art and morality that followed--including Oscar Wilde's vehement replies to individual critics.Seven critical essays--six of them new to the Third Edition--that address the novel's major themes: aestheticism, decadence, and vice. Contributors include Joseph Carroll, Nils Clausson, Emily Eells, Michael Patrick Gillespie, Richard Haslam, Donald L. Lawler, and Ellen Scheible.A chronology and a selected bibliography. About the SeriesRead by more than 12 million students over fifty-five years, Norton Critical Editions set the standard for apparatus that is right for undergraduate readers. The three-part format--annotated text, contexts, and criticism--helps students to better understand, analyze, and appreciate the literature, while opening a wide range of teaching possibilities for instructors. Whether in print or in digital format, Norton Critical Editions provide all the resources students need.… (más)
Miembro:MBalken
Título:The Picture of Dorian Gray: A Norton Critical Edition (Norton Critical Editions)
Autores:Oscar Wilde (Autor)
Información:W. W. Norton & Company (2019), Edition: Third, 536 pages
Colecciones:Tu biblioteca
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Información de la obra

The Picture of Dorian Gray [Norton Critical Edition] por Oscar Wilde

Añadido recientemente poralliwag, NateSuire, Chaucerettescs, maughan_ben33, wansykes, MBalken
Bibliotecas heredadasDonald and Mary Hyde
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In his classic novel about aesthetics and morality, Wilde presents Dorian Gray, a young man of extraordinary beauty. The reader meets Dorian when he arrives for a sitting for Basil Hallword, a talented painter who is smitten with the youth. At Basil's house, Dorian meets Lord Henry, a dissolute and cynical wit who believes that beauty and sensation are of the utmost importance, and morality is an artificial social construction. After listening to Lord Henry's philosophy, Dorian is confronted with his own mortality for the first time. He sees the amazing portrait that Basil is painting of him, is struck by a sudden horror of recognition that he will age and decay while the painting remains pristine, and he makes an idle wish. He declares that he would give anything to have his portrait age rather than himself. Dorian's day is much more fateful than he realizes.

He begins to live a life of gratification in line with Lord Henry's philosophy. When he meets the actress Sybil Vane on one of his excursions into the darker streets of London, he throws himself into a passionate love and decides to marry her. Unfortunately, his avowal of love changes Sybil, and she can no longer enter her artificial world on the stage. At her next performance, Dorian is repulsed by her wooden acting and poor performance, even more so because he invited Henry and Basil to join him. That night he cruelly ends their relationship. The next morning, Dorian sees his portrait and is horrified to discover that the painting has changed. The features and colors are the same, but the face now bears a cruel expression. Dorian is overcome with remorse for his treatment of Sybil, and decides that he must marry her, and she will make him a better man. Lord Henry visits with the bad news that Sybil Vane committed suicide the night before.

Dorian is devastated, and then decides that his inspiration to be a better man was foolish. He devotes himself to leading a life of aesthetic pleasure and dissolution. As he engages in more vices and sins, his body maintains its pure innocence, but his portrait becomes ever more grotesque. His actions culminate in the murder of a close friend. Dorian has been tormented by the struggle between conscience and a sensual life, and his act of homicide drives these feelings to an extreme. He decides that the painting is the source of his consience and must be destroyed. As soon as he plunges the knife into the picture, however, a scream is heard throughout the house. His servants break into the room to find a horrid old man dead on the floor and a beautiful portrait of their young master on the wall.

Narrated with Wilde's engaging and irreverent wit, this supernatural story of the aging portrait is easy to read and very enjoyable. Despite the harsh ending, the novel consistently avoids moralizing. Is Dorian right to follow Lord Henry's guidance to seek pleasure and art, or should he have listened to Basil's strong counsel to live a moral life? Is morality real or just a social construct? Was Dorian punished for his sins, or because he couldn't fully commit to the sensual life and constantly caved in to a false conscience? The novel toys with these ideas and refuses to offer any conclusions. Although I found Dorian to evolve into an unlikable character, his corrupted progression is captivating. Lord Henry is a charming rogue, and I enjoyed all his scenes, even though I almost uniformly disagreed with his philosophy. The particular edition I read was a Norton, which means the text was accompanied with a wealth of supplementary materials, such as critical essays and contemporary reviews, all of which helped me to approach the novel on multiple levels. I am happy to have finally read this book that was on my tbr list for some time, and was, as always, thoroughly impressed with the Norton Critical Edition's excellent quality of production. ( )
  nmhale | Jul 16, 2015 |
The Picture of Dorian Gray is a much more interesting book than I expected it to be. The story is notoriously familiar thanks to numerous film adaptations. It concerns a young man who, upon truly seeing himself for the first time in a painted portrait, falls in love like Narcissus with his own image and, wishing that he could remain forever young as the portrait inevitably would, comes to realize that his wish is being granted as he watches the portrait age even as he himself retains his boyish visage.

This bare summary may lead the reader to expect a sort of gothic melodrama to unfold. But once into the novel, the question arises in the mind of the reader as to whether the protagonist is imagining things, and that this may be a psychological study of a kind of madness. This question is eventually resolved — emphatically.

The opening chapters, however, paint a very different picture. Wilde introduces three young men who are rich, well educated and hedonistic. The conversation is brilliant as is the writing in general. Wilde's alter-ego in this novel is a character named Sir Henry Wotton, who is witty, sardonic and full of paradoxical epigrams. He meets the very youthful Dorian Gray for the first time at the studio of a well-known painter Basil Hallward, where Dorian is sitting for a portrait. Sir Henry has a mesmerizing effect upon Dorian Gray, who is captivated by his aestheticism and rather cynical view of life. Dorian is like a blank canvas, ripe for manipulation by a beguiler like Sir Henry whose opinions and advice cause the younger man to change almost overnight from an innocent to one who becomes almost perversely attracted to everything that deviates from the norms of society, all the while maintaining the illusion of social respectability.

Upon seeing his finished portrait for the first time, it is as though a mist has been lifted from his eyes and he becomes aware of his own physical beauty, seeing himself as others have seen him all along.

A look of joy came into his eyes, as if he had recognized himself for the first time. . . . The sense of his own beauty came on him like a revelation. He had never felt it before.

"How sad it is! I shall grow old and horrible and dreadful. . . . If it were only the other way! If it were I who was to be always young and the picture that was to grow old! For that I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!"


On the basis of this fervent expression, Dorian not long after begins to realize that his wish is being granted.

We see Dorian's gradual development into a full-blown hedonist through his social interactions and in his contemplative moments. His narcissism is boundless, his reputation becomes notorious, and his pursuit of sensual gratification takes many forms. Whether he is lured to the worst dens of iniquity in search of opium, or whether he lures young women to their ruin; whether he causes death directly or indirectly, or whether death pursues him; whether his contemplation of beauty takes the form of perfumes, music, jewels or embroideries, all pursuits are in the interest of forgetting the transgressions of his soul. All of this is reminiscent of Des Esseintes, the hero of A Rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain) by Joris-Karl Huysmans, which Wilde consciously emulated and expanded upon.

Part of the rich texture of this novel is to be found in the witty repartee of private conversations and fashionable dinner parties mostly dominated by the presence of Sir Henry Wotton, who has a comeback for nearly every remark. Epigrams flow from his lips like water:

There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.

Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.

Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious: both are disappointed.

Conscience makes egotists of us all.


The Picture of Dorian Gray was first published as a novella in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in 1890, and it offended the moral sensibilities of the press in Britain. In the following year it was expanded from thirteen to twenty chapters and published in book form, with a famous epigrammatic preface that defended the work. The overtones of homosexuality seen in the original novella were muted somewhat in the subsequent book. But apparently British reviewers were looking for the barest hints of illicit behavior under every woodpile. Interestingly and conversely, American critics praised it "as a modern morality tale," and that is certainly the way it reads for me. What seems to receive much more emphasis in this novel is the success, or the lack thereof, of the protagonist— who was actually a dual personality in some ways — in constructing his life to imitate art.

The edition I read was the Norton Critical Edition which contains both versions of the novel! In addition, it is heavily footnoted and includes background material (e.g., an excerpt from A Rebours and from Walter Pater's The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry) and many contemporary reviews.

It is interesting to realize that Oscar Wilde was a student of both Pater and Ruskin at Oxford, and his attitudes regarding "art for art's sake" are heavily influenced by his contact with Pater.

Taken altogether, The Picture of Dorian Gray is a book that deserves to be read and reread. ( )
2 vota Poquette | Aug 4, 2014 |
This won't be a standard review: another has already provided the synopsis.

First, although I know I read this in high school, as an assignment, I remembered very little of it. Which leads me to think two things:
1. I was not a good student
2. Most of it was over my naive head!

The book was filled with epigrams appropriate to a wide variety of situations.

I look forward to the discussion in the LT One Book group. I gave it only 4 stars because my tolerance for reading about debauchery is quite low, and only read this because I have long felt I should revisit as many classics as I can. ( )
  kaulsu | Feb 4, 2014 |
The only difference between a caprice and a life long passion is that a caprice lasts longer"

"American girls are as clever at concealing their parents as English women are at concealing their past"

"Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing"

"Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul."

"Young men want to be faithful and are not, old men want to be faithless and cannot."

Epigrams: which are witty often paradoxical remarks, concisely expressed, come thick and fast throughout the first few chapters of The Picture of Dorian Gray. It is as though Wilde cannot help but cram in as much wit as possible during the early stages of this, his only novel. They just stay the right side of tiresome, but there is a method to their usage: they come from the mouth of Lord Henry Wotton one of the three central characters. Oscar Wilde was famous as a raconteur and wit and when pressed about the characters in his novel said. "I am so glad you like that strange coloured book of mine, it contains much of me in it: Basil Hallward is what I think I am, Lord Henry what the world thinks me and Dorian what I would like to be - in other ages perhaps"

The story in which Wilde matches Edgar Alan Poe in the gothic horror stakes is well known. Basil Hallward a celebrated society artist produces a masterpiece when he paints a full length portrait of Dorian Gray: a young man with intense physical beauty who is adored by Basil. When Lord Henry Wooton calls on Basil he meets Dorian Gray and vows to inculcate the young man into the pursuit of hedonism. Dorian is a willing pupil and quickly falls under the influence of Lord Henry, however when he sees the finished portrait he is horrified by the thought that he will age and decay while the portrait will stay young and vital. He prays that he will stay just as he is forever and he gets his wish: the portrait changes in accordance with Dorian's callous and hedonistic lifestyle, while Dorian himself keeps his youthful looks. He becomes obsesses by the portrait; fascinated and horrified by turns, he is pricked by conscience and craves for some sort of redemption, however his excesses finally lead him to commit murder and when he can no longer stand the sight of his moral corruption he destroys the painting.

It is a great horror story with wonderful characterisation, but there is so much more: Wilde explores themes of individualism, hedonism, influence and weakness of character, art and it role in society, and the responsibilities of members of society. It created a sensation at the time because of its thinly veiled portrayal of homosexual love. Wilde's wit and humour is rampant throughout; so much so that it threatens at times to intrude too much into this powerful tale. The reader continues to wonder as to how much irony is being used and of the shades of meaning that can be deduced, but underpinning it all is a rattling good story. Wilde claimed that it was of course a moral tale and said in a letter in defence of his book:

"And the moral is this: all excess as well as all renunciation, brings its own punishment. The painter Basil Hallward worshipping physical beauty far too much, as most painters do, dies by the hand of one in whose soul he has created a monstrous and absurd vanity. Dorian Gray, having led a life of mere sensation and pleasure, tries to kill conscience, and at that moment kills himself. Lord Henry Wotton seeks to be merely the spectator of life. He finds that those who reject the battle are more deeply wounded than those who take part in it. Yes there is a terrible moral in Dorian Gray - a moral which the prurient will not be able to find in it, but which will be revealed to all whose minds are healthy. Is this an artistic error? I fear it is. It is the only error in the book."

See what I mean about the irony

THE NORTON CRITICAL EDITION
How in my view the Norton Critical edition enhances the reading experience.

1) It contains both versions of the story. The original novella published in Lippincotts monthly magazine in 1890 and the revised and expanded novel length book published by Ward, Lock and Company in 1981. The expanded version features a whole new subplot and the footnotes highlight changes that are made in this later version. Notes are also made concerning changes in the MS. Both versions stand on their own, but it is fascinating to read both.

2) backgrounds: Features extracts from sources used by Wilde. There are chapters from Huysman's A Rebours and Walter Pater's The Renaissance: studies in Art and Poetry. There are also extracts from Wilde's own essays, which provide valuable insight into his thoughts and belief systems.

3) Review and Reactions: The war of words between Wilde and his critics are here for all to see in extracts from published articles and Wilde's vehement defence of his book. There are also extracts from the trials: Edgar Carson's cross examination of Wilde at the first trial.

4) Criticism: contains seven essays on aspects of Dorian Gray, which run to some 150 pages. Plenty here for everybody.

In this case the Norton Critical edition provides a complete reading experience. There is a chronology and the selected Bibliography contains much further reading for those who wish to take the subject further ( )
13 vota baswood | Sep 12, 2011 |
Interesting idea, dressed up in typically flowery language. Made me feel a bit queasy though. ( )
  jayne_charles | Aug 28, 2010 |
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If one puts forward an idea...he never dreams if considering whether the idea is right or wrong. The only thing he considers of any importance is whether one believes it oneself. - Lord Henry Wotton
The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. - Lord Henry Wotton
To get back one's youth, one has merely to repeat one's follies. - Lord Henry Wotton
I must sow poppies in my garden - Dorian Gray
He grew more and more enamored of his own beauty, more and more interested in the corruption of his own soul.
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Do Not Combine: This is a "Norton Critical Edition", it is a unique work with significant added material, including essays and background materials. Do not combine with other editions of the work. Please maintain the phrase "Norton Critical Edition" in the Canonical Title and Publisher Series fields.
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This Norton Critical Edition includes:The 1890 (Lippincott's Magazine) version and the 1891 (book) version of the novel. Under the editorial guidance of Wilde scholar Michael Patrick Gillespie, students have the opportunity to comparatively read and analyze both texts of this controversial novel.Editorial matter by Michael Patrick Gillespie."Backgrounds" and "Reviews and Reactions" sections that allow readers to gauge The Picture of Dorian Gray's sensational reception and to consider the heated public debate over art and morality that followed--including Oscar Wilde's vehement replies to individual critics.Seven critical essays--six of them new to the Third Edition--that address the novel's major themes: aestheticism, decadence, and vice. Contributors include Joseph Carroll, Nils Clausson, Emily Eells, Michael Patrick Gillespie, Richard Haslam, Donald L. Lawler, and Ellen Scheible.A chronology and a selected bibliography. About the SeriesRead by more than 12 million students over fifty-five years, Norton Critical Editions set the standard for apparatus that is right for undergraduate readers. The three-part format--annotated text, contexts, and criticism--helps students to better understand, analyze, and appreciate the literature, while opening a wide range of teaching possibilities for instructors. Whether in print or in digital format, Norton Critical Editions provide all the resources students need.

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