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The Picture of Dorian Gray

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Paperback published by Modern Library (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
The story of a man who preserves his youth while his portrait visibly deteriorates with time.
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The story of a man who preserves his youth while his portrait visibly deteriorates with time.
Product Details
Paperback (304 pages)
Published: June 1, 1998
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Modern Library
ISBN: 9780375751516
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 Importance of Being Earnest

    The Importance of Being Earnest
    A Trivial Comedy for Serious People
    This lighthearted play tells the farcical tale of Jack Worthing and Algernon Montcrieff—two men who falsely claim to be named Ernest when they fall in love with two women whose affections are illogically but irrevocably tied to the name. The Importance of Being Earnest was popular upon its debut in 1895, but the reputation of Oscar Wilde’s works declined when he was imprisoned for accusations of homosexual behaviour. It was not until the twentieth century that Wilde’s work was once again recognized both for its literary worth and comedic genius, and subsequently The Importance of Being Earnest has been adapted many times for film and theatre, most recently in the 2002 film starring Colin Firth, Rupert Everett, Reese Witherspoon, and Dame Judy Dench. HarperPerennial Classics brings great works of literature to life in digital format, upholding the highest standards in ebook production and celebrating reading in all its forms. Look for more titles in the HarperPerennial Classics collection to build your digital library.

    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.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • The remains of Oscar Wilde lie in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. [from the general intro to this publication of the original, unedited manuscript]

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  • The studio was filled with the rich odor of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or...

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  • It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.

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  • He was withered, wrinkled, and loathsome of visage. It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognised who it was.

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