The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
18 April 2003


Hmmm... interesting. Good to finally read such a formative novel - I mean formative in terms of our literary development, our ideas about art and so forth. The ideas presented, and especially the morals, are obviously dated and I'm not sure I like the narrative style. However, easing for a moment my free-flowing cynicism, I am able to quite enjoy the book. Even the descriptions and monologues held my attention, and usually there's nothing that turns me off faster than a page-long paragraph.

The characters are good and strong, especially Lord Henry, a delightfully foppish young man who is almost pretentious in his need to make terribly clever remarks all the time. Dorian Gray himself was a little annoying, a little bland, as main characters usually are. They have so much riding on them that they get crushed out of shape here and there. But I do like the Sibyl Vane sub-plot, her brother's rage especially. (I would have liked to see him kill Dorian.) The ending also pleases me. I have a pathetic love of clean and simplistic symmetry.


back to litblog