Read and RE-Read this Classic The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
My relationship with this book began in high school. I saw -part- of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and thought "Dorian Gray, huh? This guy's pretty interesting." So, I got about halfway through the book before I put it down. I had felt as though the plot was too hidden by thinly veiled art critiques. It was all wonderfully worded phrases and diatribes...but still. Where was the plot?
So, I put it down. Disappointed and slightly angered by Wilde for tricking me with the promise of a wonderful plot.
4-5 years passed before my next experience with this novel took place. A guy (I would come to know as "fiance" some three years later) at work was telling someone how much he loved the novel. Intrigued by the conversation, I forced my way into it. I clung to the belief that the novel was a sad attempt at a wonderful plot. We debated it for a long while (well, for our whole 45 minute lunch anyway). It is one of my favorite memories. Naturally, my finance doesn't remember it.
Fast forward several more years. We talk about it in teasing tones. I get it for free on my kindle. We read several pages out loud (this was before of course my finance realized that I don't read the voices just "right" ). I realized something vital in reading these few passages out loud though. Wilde's words are best when spoken.
It took approximately 9 or 10 more months for me to grow curious. Yes, I wanted to finish this book. This book that held so much of my fiance's passion. I too wanted to see what he saw in it. Now, usually that doesn't work for me. Usually it just prolongs the process.
For once it didn't.
I can finally say that I finished this novel and yes, it took about 8 years. I can also say that I actually really liked it. My criticisms of the past were misguided. I still believe that some parts were a bit drawn out (the 11 pages all about Dorian's collections, anyone? Really, Wilde? Really?). Then there's all of the quotes that are disparaging toward women...
Ah, but the prose...Wilde knows his way around them. He is a master at his craft.
I suppose now the only thing left to say is...
Darling, I was wrong.