Readers' Review: "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde - Wikimedia Commons

Oscar Wilde

Readers' Review: "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde

The February Readers' Review considers Oscar Wilde's only novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray." Censored in Victorian times for references to homosexuality, it continues to spark debate about art and morality.

In the preface of his 1891 novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray” Oscar Wilde writes "diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex and vital". He would no doubt be pleased to know that his book with its themes of beauty, art, pleasure, and hedonism has been generating a diversity of opinion for more than one hundred years. But Oscar Wilde’s book fared far better than he. A few years after its publication, he faced charges of “gross indecencies”, and went from being a British celebrity to a broken, penniless man living in exile. Join us for this month's Readers Review, a discussion of “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, by Oscar Wilde.


Nicholas Frankel

associate professor of English. Virginia Commonwealth University
editor, "The Picture of Dorian Gray: An Annotated, Uncensored Edition by Oscar Wilde"

Thomas Mallon

director of creative writing at George Washington University, author of seven novels, including "Bandbox," "Henry and Clara," and "Dewey Defeats Truman." Among his nonfiction books are "A Book of One's Own," "Stolen Words," and "Mrs. Paine's Garage." He's a frequent contributor to "The New Yorker," "The Atlantic Monthly," and other magazines.

Leslie Maitland

former reporter for "The New York Times"

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