Oscar Wilde's story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is
one of his most popular works.
Oscar Wilde's story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is one of his most popular works. Written
in Wilde's characteristically dazzling manner, full of stinging epigrams and shrewd observations, this tale of Dorian Gray's moral
disintegration caused something of a scandal when it first appeared in 1890. Wilde was attacked for his decadence and corrupting
influence. He responded that, while he was "quite incapable of understanding how a work of art can be criticized from a moral standpoint.'
there is, in fact, "a terrible moral in DORIAN GRAY."
A few years later the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde's homosexual
liaisons, trials that resulted in his imprisonment. Of the book's value as 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."
“His wit is an agent of renewal." -Richard Ellmann”