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The Picture of Dorian Gray

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Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read

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."
Portrait
Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin in 1854. His father was a celebrated surgeon, his mother a supporter of Irish independence who presided over literary salons in Ireland and England. Although his brilliance as a classicist at Dublin's Trinity College won him a scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford, Wilde failed in his attempts at an academic career. Instead he set his sights on the literary and artistic worlds of London. Fusing the influences of Ruskin, the Pre-Raphaelites, Walter Pater, and Gautier's l'art pour l'art, he made himself the most visible manifestation of the Aesthetic movement; by 1881 a burlesque of Wilde provided the protagonist for the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Patience. It was to exploit the popularity of the operetta, in fact, that the producer D'Oyly Carte underwrote Wilde's immensely successful lecture tour of America. Married in 1884 to Constance Lloyd, Wilde worked briefly as a magazine editor while publishing poetry, plays, fairy tales, and essays.

The Picture of Dorian Gray was commissioned by J. M. Stoddardt, the Philadelphia publisher of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine. It appeared in the July 1890 issue and immediately gained a certain notoriety for being 'mawkish and nauseous,' 'unclean,' 'effeminate,' and 'contaminating.' When it was published as a book the following year, Wilde greatly revised and expanded the text, filling it out with a melodramatic subplot and adding a preface that defended his aesthetic philosophy. As for the book's value as autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter that the main characters are in different ways reflections of him: '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.'

In the early nineties, Wilde was at the center of an artistic milieu characterized by The Yellow Book, The Rhymers' Club, and the art of Aubrey Beardsley. Banned from performance in England, his poetic drama Salome (1892) was illustrated by Beardsley and finally produced in Paris in 1896. At the same time, Wilde achieved success as a popular playwright, writing in rapid succession Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, and The Importance of Being Earnest. In 1895, two of his plays were on the London stage simultaneously, and he was acknowledged as a pivotal figure in English literary life, admired for his wit and eloquence.

Since at least the mid-1880s, however, Wilde had lived a sexual double life, and in 1893 he distanced himself from his family by taking rooms at the Savoy Hotel. He had by then embarked on a passionate relationship with the considerably younger Lord Alfred Douglas, the English translator of Salome, whom he had met the year after he wrote The Picture of Dorian Gray. In March 1895, Wilde undertook a libel action against the Marquess of Queensberry, Lord Alfred's father, who had denounced Wilde as a 'somdomite' (sic). Wilde withdrew the suit following damaging cross-examination by the marquess's defense attorney, a former classmate of Wilde's. (Question: 'Have you ever adored a young man madly?' Answer: 'I have never given adoration to anybody but myself.') Shortly thereafter, Wilde was arrested for homosexual offenses and underwent two trials before being sentenced to hard labor at Wandsworth Prison and Reading Gaol. A long recriminatory letter to Douglas written while in prison was eventually published as De Profundis.

Released in 1897, Wilde left for France under the name Sebastian Melmoth, a pseudonym combining a martyred saint with a Faustian hero of Gothic romance. A poem based on his prison experience, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, was published in 1898. His health destroyed, and bankrupted by his legal expenses, Wilde lived in Paris for three years, making a conversion to Roman Catholicism just before his death in November 1900. He is buried in the cemetery of Pere Lachaise.
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Produktdetails

Format ePUB i
Kopierschutz Ja i
Seitenzahl 272 (Printausgabe)
Erscheinungsdatum 01.11.2000
Sprache Englisch
EAN 9780679642091
Verlag Random House Publishing Group
Dateigröße 453 KB
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Kundenbewertungen

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The Picture of Dorian Gray
von einer Kundin/einem Kunden am 19.08.2019
Bewertet: Einband: Taschenbuch

Toll geschrieben, gut zu verstehen und mit einer Menge Aussagen, die zum Nachdenken anregen. Die Collins Classics Reihe ist sehr zu empfehlen - Klassiker zum kleinen Preis in bester Qualität!

The picture of Dorian gray
von einer Kundin/einem Kunden aus Jona am 06.11.2017
Bewertet: Einband: Taschenbuch

Gefällt mir sehr gut. Ich lese gerne Klassiker, wir lesen es im Englisch Kurs.

Grandios
von einer Kundin/einem Kunden aus Wien am 03.10.2017
Bewertet: Einband: gebundene Ausgabe

Ganz abgesehen von der Tatsache, dass Oscar Wilde einer jener Autoren ist, die es schaffen Texte zu schreiben, die wahre Kunstwerke sind und "The Picture of Dorian Gray" ein grandioses Beispiel dafür ist, ist dieser Druck zusätzlich sehr schön, durch die Schrift nicht anstrengend für die Augen und mit einem sehr guten Vorwort be... Ganz abgesehen von der Tatsache, dass Oscar Wilde einer jener Autoren ist, die es schaffen Texte zu schreiben, die wahre Kunstwerke sind und "The Picture of Dorian Gray" ein grandioses Beispiel dafür ist, ist dieser Druck zusätzlich sehr schön, durch die Schrift nicht anstrengend für die Augen und mit einem sehr guten Vorwort bestattet, das den Ausdruck der Dekadenz sehr gut beschreibt.