The Picture of Dorian Gray: AND The Decay of Lying Cover Image

About the Author: Oscar Wilde

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, and a plentitude of aphorisms, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being Earnest.

As the result of a widely covered series of trials, Wilde suffered a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned for two years hard labour after being convicted of "gross indecency" with other men. After Wilde was released from prison he set sail for Dieppe by the night ferry. He never returned to Ireland or Britain, and died in poverty.


The Picture of Dorian Gray: AND The Decay of Lying Cover Image

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Paperback, Published in Feb 2005 by Editions Zulma

ISBN10: 2843042933 | ISBN13: 9782843042935

The continuing importance of The Picture of Dorian Gray however is primarily as the aesthetic manifestation and mirror of the immense, tragic personality of Oscar Wilde. The brilliant Irishman descended on Oxford in 1874 and published his one and only novel in 1890. It was a commission from Lippincott's Magazine, published in serial form. Wilde's career - as short story writer, playwright and occasional journalist - reached its zenith in the following two years; he was a crucial and imperious figure in the fin de siecle scene that started in the 1880s. During those years, this paradoxical philosopher of the complex relationship between art, human nature and truth walked a tight-rope between fame and scandal... In his Francophile The Decay of Lying, written in 1889, and in many ways foreshadowing Dorian Gray, Wilde warned those readers who might be tempted to recognise him in the characters of Dorian, Wotton or Hallward that art is a veil, rather than a mirror. more than art imitates life: Wilde recounts the anecdote of a certain Hyde coming across a horrific scene from Stevenson's novel in a squalid London street. He calls it accidental imitation, which sheds an ironic light on the last years of his own life. In 1891, Wilde met the young Alfred Douglas, son of the Marquis of Queensberry. Douglas hated his father; the father despised Douglas and Wilde. Their fierce and passionate love for each other, recounted in Wilde's autobiographical work De Profundis, would effectively push the poet to social suicide, prison, exile and premature death in a Paris hotel. This accidental imitation casts a retrospective spotlight - if any is needed - on the quasi-gothic scenes of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

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