Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – Dec 12, 2013

Lippincott's Monthly Magazine, July 1890
– the first published version of The Picture of Dorian Gray for the grand price of 25 cents

The aphorism
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.
stands at the head of the novel as a warning to critics by Oscar Wilde. 


A single fateful wish for his youth to be preserved, and his aging transferred to a painting of him, causes Dorian Gray to descend into evil acts, that are only vaguely described in the novel.

 Kavita, KumKum, Talitha, Thommo, Mathew, Sunil

Throughout, the brilliance of Wilde’s wit and his ability to turn a dogma on its head is apparent. Whether this novel, his only one, is the best vehicle for his writing was debated. But there is no doubt about his mastery. Max Beerbohm, himself a well-known essayist with a graceful style, described Wilde once as "A Lord of Language," in an article with that title.

Talitha and Thommo

As to Wilde’s homosexuality, for which he was persecuted in his time (even as homosexuals are being persecuted today in India by the perverse judgment of a duet of lordships on the Supreme Court of India), he wrote:
I believe that God made a world for each separate man, and within that world, which is within us, one should seek to live.
(from De Profundis)

Preeti and Zakia

Here are the readers at the end of the session:

 Preeti, Kavita, KumKum, Priya, Talitha, Thommo, Mathew, Sunil, Zakia, Joe
Read on to savour our pronouncements and reflections on The Picture of Dorian Gray.