Synopses & Reviews
Introduction by Jeffrey Eugenides
Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it ﬁrst appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting inﬂuence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to 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.”
When The Picture of Dorian Gray was published in 1890, Oscar Wilde was attacked for its "mawkish and nauseous" tone. It is Oscar Wilde's version of the Faust myth, where a fashionable young man sells his soul for eternal youth: His portrait may grow old, but not he. Oscar Wilde has never gone out of fashion. He has recently been portrayed by Stephen Fry, in a film and been the subject of a critically acclaimed Broadway play.
The Picture of Dorian Gray was the first Modern Library book published by Boni and Liveright in May 1917. Since then, it has been a staple of the Modern Library hardcover line. It is a natural choice for the new Modern Library Paperback Classic list.
This edition includes an Introduction by Quentin Crisp, author of The Naked Civil Servant.
When published in 1890, Oscar Wilde's version of the Faust myth, wherein a fashionable young man sells his soul for eternal youth while his portrait grows old, was attacked for its "mawkish and nauseous" tone. However, the novel has fascinated readers for over a century. This Paperback Classic edition includes an Introduction by Quentin Crisp.
About the Author
OSCAR WILDE (1854–1900) was an Irish writer, poet, and playwright. His novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray
, brought him lasting recognition, and he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era with a series of witty social satires, including his masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest.