19 May 2012

[Review] The Picture of Dorian Gray

The artist is the creator of beautiful things.
To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim.
The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things.
The highest as the lowest form of criticism is a mode of autobiography. Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming.
This is a fault.
Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.
They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty.
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.
That is all.
The nineteenth century dislike of realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass.
The nineteenth century dislike of romanticism is the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass.
The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium. No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved.
No artist has ethical sympathies.
An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style. No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything.
Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art.
Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art.
From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is the art of the musician.
From the point of view of feeling, the actor's craft is the type.
All art is at once surface and symbol.
Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.
Those who read the symbol do so at their peril.
It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.
Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital.
When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself.
We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.
All art is quite useless.

- Oscar Wilde as in the preface of his novel "The Picture Of Dorian Gray" -

i have to admit, the very first reason i read this book was my crush to the character Dorian Gray in LXG (portrayed sinfully gorgeous by Stuart Townsend).

it's about the title-character, 18-years-old Dorian Gray who made a path to exchange his very own soul to his painting's, driven by jealousy when he learned that his painting would never grow old, as opposed to himself who will age day after day after day.

Dorian himself was torn apart between his two best friends: Basil, the painter who made his painting, and Henry, the gentleman who told him about the fates he and his painting would face.

this was the first and only novel Oscar Wilde had released, apart from his plays. being Oscar Wilder, it got a strong homosexual essence, but that's the beauty of this novel. the story was well-written, the language was beautiful, the characters were fantastic. this is how a young hedonist would live back then (or as i would say, ABG)

and the ending ... is how Oscar Wilde would end it properly.


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