The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Book Club is on Friday! We are beginning our 3rd year! Wow! It has become our pattern to not have a meeting in December since everyone is so busy, so I feel like I’m in book club withdrawls! For the months of December and January we read Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. It was his only novel, which is really too bad. In high school I had read some of his plays – An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Ernest. My edition included three short stories and I have read 2 of them so far. The first one was The Happy Prince which as I read it, I remembered it from high school too (oddly enough I’m pretty sure I read it in Spanish class – El Principe Feliz). It’s a sweet ‘fairy tale’.

Oscar Wilde definitely pushed the literary envelope of his time and I really appreciated this book. It’s pretty dark but it is so witty! I think it would be a great book to really dissect, but I certainly did not put the effort in this time. I think it would be cool to re-read with some footnotes at my side. There seemed to be a lot of social commentary on women, the U.S. and a lot of other things. Essentially the book is about a beautiful young man. A portrait is painted of him and somehow all of his sins and his aging appears on the portrait and not on his face. He keeps it locked up and becomes obsessed with it. The book follows his descent into evil and his ultimate demise – very interesting! I look forward to discussing it on Friday!

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