Saturday, December 17, 2016
Reading Through the Classics: The Picture of Dorian Gray
AUTHOR: Oscar Wilde
PREMISE: A narcissistic young man has a portrait painted of him....
MY THOUGHTS: You know that image a lot of students have of classics? Where they're stuffy and boring? Now, I personally don't agree. Not all classics are the same. But this one here...could honestly qualify for that classics are boring image. Because wow, was it dull. Even with the murders going on, it was dull.
Part of my issue is that it is very dialogue heavy. A majority of the book is Dorian chatting with either Henry or Basil. Usually one or all three of them are being sexist douches during this dialogue. Yeah, yeah, I know, sexism was common during Wilde's time. I don't care. Doesn't make the rampant misogyny in this book okay. As for the LGBT mentions in it...there was subtext. I guess. Though I personally felt like the subtext was more on Basil's part then on Dorian. The stuff with the portrait doesn't start until halfway through the book, I guarantee you by then you will probably want to punch all of these characters in the face.
Yes, I got the social commentary. We'll have to agree to disagree on the writing. Because Wilde literally would spend a whole chapter on something that could have been summarized in a paragraph. I guess that's what happens when you pay authors by the word. This book isn't really a difficult read. It's pretty straightforward. It's just...very dull and at times very aggravating. I am going to try and read The Importance of Being Earnest at some point, but other then that...I think Wilde and I are going to have to part ways.
WHO SHOULD READ: Classic buffs, fans of the horror/paranormal classic canon, Oscar Wilde fans