The Picture of Dorian Gray
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The Picture of Dorian Gray is an 1891 philosophical novel by Irish writer and playwright Oscar Wilde. First published as a serial story in the July 1890 issue of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine, the editors feared the story was indecent, and without Wilde's knowledge, deleted five hundred words before publication. Despite that censorship, The Picture of Dorian Gray offended the moral sensibilities of British book reviewers, some of whom said that Oscar Wilde merited prosecution for violating the laws guarding the public morality. In response, Wilde aggressively defended his novel and art in correspondence with the British press. Wilde revised and expanded the magazine edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) for publication as a novel; the book edition (1891) featured an aphoristic preface — an apologia about the art of the novel and the reader. The content, style, and presentation of the preface made it famous in its own literary right, as social and cultural criticism. In April 1891, the editorial house Ward, Lock and Company published the revised version of The Picture of Dorian Gray.
turned his steps in the direction of Berkeley Square. So that was the story of Dorian Gray's parentage. Crudely as it had been told to him, it had yet stirred him by its suggestion of a strange, almost modern romance. A beautiful woman risking everything for a mad passion. A few wild weeks of happiness cut short by a hideous, treacherous crime. Months of voiceless agony, and then a child born in pain. The mother snatched away by death, the boy left to solitude and the tyranny of an old and
beautiful soul, he was a thing to wonder at. It was no matter how it all ended, or was destined to end. He was like one of those gracious figures in a pageant or a play, whose joys seem to be remote from one, but whose sorrows stir one's sense of beauty, and whose wounds are like red roses. Soul and body, body and soul—how mysterious they were! There was animalism in the soul, and the body had its moments of spirituality. The senses could refine, and the intellect could degrade. Who could say
shutters. Dorian was sleeping quite peacefully, lying on his right side, with one hand underneath his cheek. He looked like a boy who had been tired out with play, or study. The man had to touch him twice on the shoulder before he woke, and as he opened his eyes a faint smile passed across his lips, as though he had been lost in some delightful dream. Yet he had not dreamed at all. His night had been untroubled by any images of pleasure or of pain. But youth smiles without any reason. It is one
much, or pay any attention to what Lord Henry says. He has a very bad influence over all his friends, with the single exception of myself." Dorian Gray stepped up on the dais with the air of a young Greek martyr, and made a little moue of discontent to Lord Henry, to whom he had rather taken a fancy. He was so unlike Basil. They made a delightful contrast. And he had such a beautiful voice. After a few moments he said to him, "Have you really a very bad influence, Lord Henry? As bad as Basil
state, like endless hours of pain—he felt a hand laid on his shoulder. He started and looked round. "Dorian," said Lord Henry, "I had better tell them that the shooting is stopped for to-day. It would not look well to go on." "I wish it were stopped for ever, Harry," he answered bitterly. "The whole thing is hideous and cruel. Is the man ... ?" He could not finish the sentence. "I am afraid so," rejoined Lord Henry. "He got the whole charge of shot in his chest. He must have died almost