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Portrait of Dorian Grey

Dorian Grey
17 January 1972
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  • dorian_grey@livejournal.com
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.

The Novel -

The novel begins with Lord Henry Wotton observing the artist Basil Hallward painting the portrait of a handsome young man named Dorian Gray. Dorian arrives later, meeting Lord Henry Wotton. After hearing Lord Henry's world view, Dorian begins to think that beauty is the only worthwhile aspect of life, and the only thing left to pursue. He wishes that the portrait of him which Basil is painting would grow old instead of him. Under the influence of Lord Henry, Dorian begins an exploration of his senses. He discovers an actress, Sibyl Vane, who performs Shakespeare in a dingy theatre. Dorian approaches her, and very soon, proposes marriage. Sibyl, who refers to him as "Prince Charming", rushes home to tell her skeptical mother and brother. Her protective brother, James, tells her that if "Prince Charming" ever harms her, he will kill him.

Dorian then invites Basil and Lord Henry to see Sibyl perform in Romeo and Juliet. Sibyl, whose only previous knowledge of love was through the love of theatre, suddenly loses her acting abilities through the experience of true love with Dorian, and performs very badly. Dorian rejects her, saying that her beauty was in her art, and if she could no longer act, he was no longer interested in her. Once he returns home, Dorian notices that Basil's portrait of him has changed. After examining the painting, Dorian realizes that his wish has come true - the portrait's expression now bears a subtle sneer, and later ages with each grave sin committed, whilst his own outward appearance remains unchanged. He decides to reconcile with Sibyl, but Lord Henry arrives in the morning to say that Sibyl has killed herself by swallowing prussic acid. Over the next eighteen years he experiments with every vice, mostly under the influence of a "poisonous" French novel, a present from Lord Henry. Wilde never reveals the title but his inspiration was likely drawn from Joris-Karl Huysmans's À rebours (Against Nature) due to the likenesses that exist between The Picture of Dorian Gray and À rebours.[5]

One night before he leaves for Paris, Basil arrives to question Dorian about the rumours of his indulgences. Dorian does not deny the debauchery. He takes Basil to the portrait which is revealed to have become ugly under Dorian's sins. In a fit of anger, Dorian blames the artist for his fate, and stabs him to death. He then blackmails an old friend named Alan Cambell, who happened to be a chemist, into destroying the body. Wishing to escape his crime, Dorian travels to an opium den. James Vane happens to be nearby, and hears someone refer to Dorian as "Prince Charming". He follows Dorian out and attempts to shoot him, but he is deceived when Dorian asks James to look at him in the lane, saying that he is too young to have been involved with his sister eighteen years ago. James releases Dorian, but is approached by a woman from the opium den, who chastises him for not killing Dorian and tells him that Dorian has not aged for the past eighteen years.

Whilst at dinner one night, Dorian sees Sibyl Vane's brother stalking the grounds and fears for his life. However, during a game-shooting party the next day James is accidentally shot and killed by one of the hunters. After returning to London, Dorian informs Lord Henry that he will be good from now on, and has started by not breaking the heart of his latest innocent conquest, a vicar's daughter in a country town, named Hetty Merton. At his apartment, he wonders if the portrait would have begun to change back, losing its senile, sinful appearance, now that he has changed his immoral ways. He unveils the portrait to find that it has become worse. Seeing this he begins to question the motives behind his act, whether it was merely vanity, curiosity, or seeking new emotional excess. Deciding that only a full confession would truly absolve him, but lacking any guilt and fearing the consequences, he decides to destroy the last vestige of his conscience. In a fit of rage, he picks up the knife that killed Basil Hallward, and plunges it into the painting. Hearing his cry from inside the locked room, his servants send for the police, who find Dorian's body, suddenly aged and withered, beside the portrait, which has reverted to its original form; it is only through his rings that the corpse can be identified.

The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen -

Dorian Gray was a character portrayed by Stuart Townsend in Stephen Norrington's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which was based on the graphic novel of the same name, written by Alan Moore. Dorian Gray was not originally included in Moore's graphic novel, and Dorian's inclusion was a decision made by Norrington. A "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" is assembled in an attempt to stop the villain "The Fantom" from destroying Venice. Dorian Gray is selected for his immortality; however, the film version expands upon the novel by suggesting that not only does the portrait keep Dorian from aging, but also from suffering injuries. In addition, Dorian is unable to look at his own portrait; if he does, then the "spell" will be broken, and his powers will be lost — effectively killing him, as he had already reached an age impossible for any mortal being, as well as suffered numerous injuries. During the film, he is revealed to have had a past relationship with fellow immortal Mina Harker — here a vampire — but it is later revealed that he is actually a double agent, secretly working for the Fantom, who has stolen his portrait to blackmail him into acquiring samples of the other League members so that he can duplicate their powers. At the conclusion of the film, Dorian fights Mina in a duel, which ends when he is pinned to the wall with his own sword and forced to look at his portrait, turning him to dust in a matter of seconds.

The Dorian Grey for this account is based on the character played by Stuart Townsend in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. In this incarnation, his 'curse' was altered somewhat; his painting now also took for him the physical damage he may sustain, making him virtually immortal, unless he is forced to look upon the portrait, whereupon his 'curse' would be broken and all the physical deformities from sin, age, and physical damage that had been absorbed by the painting throughout the years would be thrust back on him, killing him instantly. Because of this, he hid the painting not only from others, but himself, as well, so that he could continue to use the 'curse' to his benefit.

Dorian is working on a prompt table and writes ficlets for a_muse_meme

The table (stolen from Joss100)

001. Dreams 002. Nightmares 003. Daydreams 004. Emotion 005. Hot
006. Cold 007. Lust 008. Hate 009. Love 010. Anger
011. Jealousy 012. The Start 013. The End 014. The Past 015. The Future
016. Current 017. Illness 018. Health 019. Fight 020. Still
021. Lonely 022. Hunger 023. Vampire 024. Day 025. Night
026. Dark 027. Light 028. Shadow 029. Space 030. Coffin
031. Parent 032. Child 033. Blood 034. Rebirth 035. Life
036. Death 037. Resurrection 038. Dawn 039. Dusk 040. Midnight
041. Watch 042. Monsters 043. Time 044. Seasons 045. Want
046. Need 047. Vengence 048. Direction 049. First Love 050. Weapons
051. Destruction 052. Apocolypse 053. Faded 054. Colorless 055. Colorful
056. Black 057. White 058. Sunshine 059. Puppet 060. Birthday
061. Music 062. Sound 063. Silence 064. Ocean 065. Vast
066. Empty 067. Choices 068. Lost 069. Found 070. Full
071. Fall 072. Myth 073. Secret 074. Truth 075. Lie
076. Terror 077. Betrayal 078. Loyalty 079. Lover 080. Enemy
081. Book 082. Nature 083. Eternal 084. Serenity 085. Gold
086. Silver 087. Hero 088. Villian 089. Soul 090. Food
091.Visions 092. Earth 093. Regret 094. Chains 095. Red
096. Sky 097. Water 098.Nurture 099. Writer's Choice 100. Writer's Choice