"Vulgar"' "Unclean" "Poisonous" were among the words used by the British press in 1890 to greet the publication of Oscar Wilde's only novel. "The Picture of Dorian Gray".There were numerous revisions in both the book and in the several film adaptations which followed. We will see the 1976 BBC version with Sir John Gielgud as Lord Henry Wotton, Jeremy Brett as Basil Hallward, and Peter Firth as Dorian Gray. The furor was over homoerotic content, and not so much over Wilde's criticism of the philosophies of hedonism and aestheticism. The story is of an exceedingly handsome young man who sells his soul to remain young and handsome while his portrait grows old and reveals his increasing selfishness and cruelty. There is a focus on Gray's relationship with an older, corrupt and manipulative man, Lord Henry Wotton. The price paid for the pursuit of endless sensual pleasure is illustrated by Oscar Wilde's elegant and witty prose, and includes malignant narcissism, hypocrisy, infidelity, corruption, deceit, betrayal, blackmail, homicide, and suicide. Could Wilde also have been writing about our 21st Century world?
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