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The Picture of Dorian Gray

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eBook published by Bantam Classics (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
Enriched Classics offer readers accessible editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and commentary. Each book includes educational tools alongside the text, enabling students and readers alike to gain a deeper and more developed understanding of the writer and their work.

The well-known artist Basil Hallward meets the young Dorian Gray in the stately London home of his aunt, Lady Brandon. Basil becomes immediately infatuated with Dorian, who is cultured, wealthy, and remarkably beautiful. Such beauty, Basil believes, is responsible for a new mode of art, and he decides to paint a portrait of the young man. While finishing the painting, Basil reluctantly introduces Dorian to his friend Lord Henry Wotton, a man known for scandal and exuberance. Wotton inspires Dorian to live life through the senses, to feel beauty in everyday experience. Dorian becomes enthralled by Wotton’s ideas, and more so becomes obsessed with remaining young and beautiful. He expresses a desire to sell his soul and have the portrait of him age, while he, the man, stays eternally young. A tragic story of hedonism and desire, The Picture of Dorian Gray is Oscar Wilde’s only published novel. Other writings include De Profundis and The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

Enriched Classics enhance your engagement by introducing and explaining the historical and cultural significance of the work, the author’s personal history, and what impact this book had on subsequent scholarship. Each book includes discussion questions that help clarify and reinforce major themes and reading recommendations for further research.

Read with confidence.
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Enriched Classics offer readers accessible editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and commentary. Each book includes educational tools alongside the text, enabling students and readers alike to gain a deeper and more developed understanding of the writer and their work.

The well-known artist Basil Hallward meets the young Dorian Gray in the stately London home of his aunt, Lady Brandon. Basil becomes immediately infatuated with Dorian, who is cultured, wealthy, and remarkably beautiful. Such beauty, Basil believes, is responsible for a new mode of art, and he decides to paint a portrait of the young man. While finishing the painting, Basil reluctantly introduces Dorian to his friend Lord Henry Wotton, a man known for scandal and exuberance. Wotton inspires Dorian to live life through the senses, to feel beauty in everyday experience. Dorian becomes enthralled by Wotton’s ideas, and more so becomes obsessed with remaining young and beautiful. He expresses a desire to sell his soul and have the portrait of him age, while he, the man, stays eternally young. A tragic story of hedonism and desire, The Picture of Dorian Gray is Oscar Wilde’s only published novel. Other writings include De Profundis and The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

Enriched Classics enhance your engagement by introducing and explaining the historical and cultural significance of the work, the author’s personal history, and what impact this book had on subsequent scholarship. Each book includes discussion questions that help clarify and reinforce major themes and reading recommendations for further research.

Read with confidence.
Product Details
eBook
Published: June 28, 2005
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Bantam Classics
ISBN: 9780553901672
Other books byOscar Wilde
  • Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Complete Hardcover Set 1–5

    Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Complete Hardcover Set 1–5
    The beautiful lyrical prose of Wilde is gorgeously rendered by one of comic art's masters   A complete collection of the prize-winning and greatly acclaimed adaptations of Oscar Wilde’s works, this book brings each story to life with brilliant illustrations by a master of comic art. Each of the clothbound, jacketed volumes of Wilde’s compelling tales are assembled here with close to 200 pages of exquisite comics, including such classics as “The Devoted Friend” on what constitutes real friendship, “The Nightingale and the Rose” a stirring story of sacrifice to love with a cruel twist, “The Birthday of the Infanta” where a hideous dwarf discovers that his good humor and tricks may not be the reason he receives such attention, and “The Happy Prince” where a once pleased young prince finds what it means to make sacrifices. Perfect for middle school students as an introduction to the world-famous author, the dazzling illustrations in this book suit the timeless writings of Wilde. Additional stories in this remarkable set include “The Remarkable Rocket,” “The Star Child,” “The Selfish Giant,” and “The Young King.”

    The Picture of Dorian Gray

    The Picture of Dorian Gray
    The story of a man who preserves his youth while his portrait visibly deteriorates with time.

    De Profundis

    De Profundis
    Written from Wilde's prison cell at Reading Gaol to his friend and lover Lord Alfred Douglas, De Profundis explodes the conventions of the traditional love letter and offers a scathing indictment of Douglas's behavior, a mournful elegy for Wilde's own lost greatness, and an impassioned plea for reconciliation. At once a bracingly honest account of ruinous attachment and a profound meditation on human suffering, De Profundis is a classic of gay literature. Richard Ellmann calls De Profundis "a love letter...One of the greatest, and the longest, ever written." This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition contains newly commissioned notes.

    Intentions

    Intentions
    Originally published in 1891 when Wilde was at the height of his form, these brilliant essays on art, literature, criticism, and society display the flamboyant poseur’s famous wit and wide learning. A leading spokesman for the English Aesthetic movement, Wilde promoted "art for art’s sake" against critics who argued that art must serve a moral purpose. On every page of this collection the gifted literary stylist admirably demonstrates not only that the characteristics of art are "distinction, charm, beauty, and imaginative power," but also that criticism itself can be raised to an art form possessing these very qualities. In the opening essay, Wilde laments the "decay of Lying as an art, a science, and a social pleasure." He takes to task modern literary realists like Henry James and Emile Zola for their "monstrous worship of facts" and stifling of the imagination. What makes art wonderful, he says, is that it is "absolutely indifferent to fact, [art] invents, imagines, dreams, and keeps between herself and reality the impenetrable barrier of beautiful style, of decorative or ideal treatment." The next essay, "Pen, Pencil, and Poison," is a fascinating literary appreciation of the life of Thomas Griffiths Wainewright, a talented painter, art critic, antiquarian, friend of Charles Lamb, and — murderer. The heart of the collection is the long two-part essay titled "The Critic as Artist." In one memorable passage after another, Wilde goes to great lengths to show that the critic is every bit as much an artist as the artist himself, in some cases more so. A good critic is like a virtuoso interpreter: "When Rubinstein plays … he gives us not merely Beethoven, but also himself, and so gives us Beethoven absolutely…made vivid and wonderful to us by a new and intense personality. When a great actor plays Shakespeare we have the same experience." Finally, in "The Truth of Masks," Wilde returns to the theme of art as artifice and creative deception. This essay focuses on the use of masks, disguises, and costume in Shakespeare. For newcomers to Wilde and those who already know his famous plays and fiction, this superb collection of his criticism offers many delights.

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