Sunday, 9 June 2013

Dorian Gray...a man on a mission

Reading: De Profundis and Other Works by Oscar Wilde
Listening to: "California Love" by 2 Pac
Outside: Smoke rises steadily off of barbeque grills across the county...

I have just finished reading this little gem: The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Just, wow.

Breathtaking. Riveting. Changing lives since 1890.
I am just in awe.
I mean, I liked Oscar Wilde to begin with - my first brush with the Irish poet/playwright/novelist was preparing for my high school literature class's production of The Importance of Being Earnest. There I was, dragging a yellow highlighter across the lines of the character I was to follow, to be. nervously pretending to understand the subtle nuances of Wilde's tongue-in-cheek take on society's expectations of society. Trying to work out the web in which the Victorians were caught, to keep up the front, to follow along with expectations (following lines, following expectations, following social networks - there was a lot of following going on). Back in that chilly high school classroom, I'd raked a hand through my hair, beginning to see what Wilde was doing - he was making fun of the very people he was entertaining. I mean, what an excellent, complex mixture of freedom and containment, sarcasm and story!
The man himself. Rocking the boat since 1854.
Well, Dorian Gray is sort of nothing like that.
It is much darker.
Much, much darker.
Although you do get Wilde's famous aphorisms sprinkled throughout. Like these:

and of course
In The Picture of Dorian Gray you get the aphorisms, you get the insider-knowledge-criticism of society, you get the contradictory nuggets of wisdom, and then, well - and then you get the stuff nightmares are made of.

It is truly delicious.

And on that note, I will leave you to enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

Happy Weekend, all!

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