The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray book cover
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"A Man Cannot Be Too Careful In The Choice Of His Enemies"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Supposedly inspired by the novel Vivian Gray (1826) of Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881), that treats of the delusions and desires of youth and their change on the road to old age, the wit Oscar Wilde wrote A Picture of Dorian Gray, epitomizing the decadence of his epoch and expressing his own exaggerated hedonism. To some extent, the relation of Dorian Gray to Lord Henry Wotton anticipates the novelist's relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas. In its Preface, Wilde declares: "There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all." This one is carefully plotted, and its writing combines paradox and poetry. At its start, the artist Basil Hallward is painting a portrait of his handsome Faustian friend, Dorian Gray, when Lord Henry Wotton...

(The entire section is 268 words.)