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The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde: Ch. 1 - 5 
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Wilde may have been expressing his contempt but I think he was also expressing his fear. He puts out the original PoDG with a more obvious expression of his self - his love of male beauty, of what it means to be a male and an artist - and he gets a horrified clamoring from society in response. So he writes the preface and he rewrites PoDG. He must have known other people who had been punished for being who they were and was probably terrified that sooner or later it would happen to him, as of course it did.


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Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:47 am
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Suzanne:

Quote:
Drat, all my quotes are messed up, very unattactive!


Don't worry Suzanne, it is very good from my point of view, because it means I must read your posts carefully and not wing through them, missing points.

So, Oscar says, good women don't appreciate men's beauty.

Hmmmmm that means I must be very wicked...because I ALWAYS appreciate good looks. :roll:

Oscar Wilde, it seems, treated his wife with contempt. I wonder if he felt contempt for women in general. Well, we won't find out from AP~DG, but we might gather more clues. I'm going to look out for some.


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Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:15 am
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Post Oscar Wilde
Hello Mary:

You have been very informative, do you know where I would find a copy of the original version. I am intriqued.

Like so many other books, they spin off for me. I am familiar with his trials, but now I want to read his biography. I think you really hit it, to know a persons work, it is helpful to know the person.

I am on chapter 6 now, the flowers are back in full bloom again. What is your take on the flowers. They showed up with the introduction of Sybil Vane, who seems to live in plays, simular to Dorian who lives in a painting. Also, Jim, Sybil's brother reminds me of Basil. They both seem to want to protect, what? Innocence maybe? Do the flowers symbolize innocence?

Suzanne



Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:29 am
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Post Too funny
Hello Penelope:

I only have eyes for my husband. I wear glasses, does that mean I can have a pair of eyes for him, and a pair for someone else?

A woman enters in chapter three, should be interesting.

I have to say, I am loving his dialogue, he is a playwrite after all. I find that I can visualize and care about characters more through dialogue than from discription alone.

Oh, who is AP?

Suzanne



Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:39 am
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One more post ought to do it.

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Suzanne asked;

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Oh, who is AP?


AP - A Picture.... I should have typed TP...The Picture....blame it on the recent stress and excitement. ;-)

Quote:
I only have eyes for my husband.


Yes, but just because you're on a diet, doesn't mean you can't read the menu, Suz. :laugh:


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Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:30 pm
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Post Re: Oscar Wilde
Suzanne wrote:
do you know where I would find a copy of the original version. I am intriqued.


http://web.uvic.ca/~gifford/eng433/dorian.htm

from there you can download a pdf


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Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:01 pm
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Post Re: Oscar Wilde
Suzanne wrote:
What is your take on the flowers. They showed up with the introduction of Sybil Vane, who seems to live in plays, simular to Dorian who lives in a painting. Also, Jim, Sybil's brother reminds me of Basil. They both seem to want to protect, what? Innocence maybe? Do the flowers symbolize innocence?


During Wilde's time there was a thing for using flowers as a kind of coded language. There is a brief article about that here, although this focuses on the Victorian
http://www.prairienet.org/herbsociety/hotm/vict_flowers.html

Since, according to the article, flowers were one way of secretly communicating between lovers, it may be that the flowers chosen in PoDG were chosen for common symbolic meanings of the time.

Here is one site that lists some meanings, although laburnum isn't on it. http://victorianbazaar.com/meanings.html

Here's another http://www.sydneymarkets.com.au/b-flower-meanings.php
According to it, laburnum means "forsaken."

And this list from wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floriography

This last comes from a book called The Flowers Personified by Grandville with laburnum meaning "blackness."
http://www.earthlypursuits.com/FlwrsPer/FlwrName.htm


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Last edited by MaryLupin on Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:48 am, edited 3 times in total.



Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:58 pm
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Flowers and homosexuality - here is a really interesting article about this. It mentions Wilde http://books.google.com/books?id=L9Mj7oHEwVoC&pg=PA332&lpg=PA332&dq=raffalovich+tuberose&source=bl&ots=cbqrT89T-l&sig=KU8zRFFvFnjqb8y37UOjuFb0WQ0&hl=en&ei=cAb5SeXkJKK8tAODg6XUCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7#PPA331,M1

It's called "Flowers and Birds."


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Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:11 pm
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Post flowers
Hello Mary:

Thanks for everything!

Suzanne



Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:51 am
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Names are interesting in Wilde's work. A sybil (or sibylla) is a prophetess or seer. A vane - as in weather vane, something that changes direction with the wind. Also its homophone - vain. So, someone who can "see" you (always nice in a partner) but whose attention is directed by another (that is not by you).


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Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:40 am
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I've been rereading the book. The last time I read it was many years ago. I had forgotten how funny the book is. I mean, of the course the story is not funny in and of itself, but some of the things that come out of Lord Henry's mouth are really hilarious if a bit mean.

In chapter 3 there is a narrative stretch that describes Lord Henry at table with Lady Agatha and friends. He is describing the dinner partners. "His own neighbour was Mrs Vandeleur, one of his aunt's oldest friends, a perfect saint amongst women, but so dreadrull dowdy that she reminded one of a badly bound hymn-book." I was in a coffee shop when I read that. I burst out laughing and since I was alone at the table that did garner a few stares. I am just glad I hadn't taken a gulp of coffee just before.


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Sun May 03, 2009 8:05 pm
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Dunno' if this is helpful to you folks, but I have gone through the audio and online text and done little 'summaries' of the chapters . . .

Also included the first lines of each - just to help with problems keeping the 'tracks' on the audio version lined up . . .

http://wildcity.proboards.com/index.cgi ... 420&page=1

(And yes - I have given the thread here at Book Talk a wee plug there - ain't that nice of me?)



Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:02 am
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Penelope wrote:
PS - I also like looking at little children, because they are beautiful.....and poor old Lewis Caroll was denigrated...because he took photographs of them, when photography was in its infancy.

Honi soit qui mal y pense????


Ahhhh! 'Tis our PennyLopey . . . nice to see you again.

I think the 'homosexuality' part would have been more fascinating at the time of publication than it is now.

And I think that's disgusting the way Lewis was denigrated like that - a couple of years ago I was at a library meeting when some tight-assed old girl came out with something about that - she took it as 'gospel' that the guy was a pedophile.

Some people are just plain busybodies, eh?

But I can imagine people reading Wilde's book in his time - it would have set them back a bit, realizing there was a flavour of AC/DC in there.

My mother loved the movie - she raved about it. I'm surprised - she was always twittering about 'that kind of people' . . . didn't approve at all.

But she sure liked that story. Maybe they don't play on the homosexuality part so heavily in the movie . . . dunno'. I never saw it.



Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:09 am
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MaryLupin wrote:
I've been rereading the book. The last time I read it was many years ago. I had forgotten how funny the book is. I mean, of the course the story is not funny in and of itself, but some of the things that come out of Lord Henry's mouth are really hilarious if a bit mean.

In chapter 3 there is a narrative stretch that describes Lord Henry at table with Lady Agatha and friends. He is describing the dinner partners. "His own neighbour was Mrs Vandeleur, one of his aunt's oldest friends, a perfect saint amongst women, but so dreadrull dowdy that she reminded one of a badly bound hymn-book." I was in a coffee shop when I read that. I burst out laughing and since I was alone at the table that did garner a few stares. I am just glad I hadn't taken a gulp of coffee just before.


Yes, I agree - some of Henry's metaphors were quite funny.

What did you think of his particular philosophies? Did you agree with anything he said.



Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:11 am
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Post Re: Yes, I was
Boheme wrote:
perplexed as well initially by the book. I mean, come on !! Dorian is so taken by anything Henry says, and Basil's art changes completely because of looking at Dorian - how superficial can people be! Of course, more homoerotic references show up near the end of the novel during Basil's final confrontation with Dorian, and the novel did grip my attention after the first little while.


Well now wasn't there something said in the book about the rich having 'idle minds' . . . or Henry said that the poor have idle minds - I've forgotten which.

In my opinion, the working man wouldn't have been influenced by good looks, or art for that matter.

In today's world, it would be different, of course, but back in that time, the working man put in a lot more hours than we do now.

In Basil, Henry and Dorian's time, the rich read books, then blathered on with a lot of tedious twaddle about them. Each was duly impressed with the other's comments, but nobody was interested in 'reality'.

Good looks, in my opinion, can be a 'hindrance' as well, and maybe even moreso than a 'privilege'.

Ever know somebody who's just too 'cool to be true' kinda' thing? Notice how you don't really get to know the 'person'; you are distracted by the looks.

I imagine employers would think twice about hiring somebody that was incredibly good looking - they don't want everybody in the office spending their time looking at him/her.

I once worked in a place where the boss absolutely would not hire a single good looking woman again. Seemed there'd been trouble with one of the fellas . . . she wanted plain ordinary married women.

So I got the job . . . the fellas flirted with me anyway - so?

For all this woman's money, education and self-claimed sophistication, she didn't really know a thing about real life.



Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:25 am
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