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Lost and Found: Dorian Gray in Chicago

"When the Chicago Public Library announced its first amnesty in 20 years, it didn't expect to get back a rare classic," CBS2 Chicago reports.

"But the library also didn't know that the daughter of a patron had found a copy of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray that had been checked out in 1934. She just wanted to be sure that if she turned it in now, she wouldn't go to jail."

Perhaps Rahm should make this book the next One Book, One Chicago pick. The current selection is The Book Thief.


From Wikipedia:

"The Picture of Dorian Gray is the only published novel by Oscar Wilde, appearing as the lead story in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine on 20 June 1890, printed as the July 1890 issue of this magazine. The story was criticized as immoral, and as a result, heavily censored. Wilde later revised this edition, making several alterations, and adding new chapters; the amended version was published by Ward, Lock and Company in April 1891. Some scholars believe this second version is the one Wilde would have wanted us to read today.

"The novel tells of a young man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. Basil is impressed by Dorian's beauty and becomes infatuated with him, believing his beauty is responsible for a new mode in his art. Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil's, and becomes enthralled by Lord Henry's world view. Espousing a new hedonism, Lord Henry suggests the only things worth pursuing in life are beauty and fulfillment of the senses. Realizing that one day his beauty will fade, Dorian (whimsically) expresses a desire to sell his soul to ensure the portrait Basil has painted would age rather than he. Dorian's wish is fulfilled, and when he subsequently pursues a life of debauchery, the portrait serves as a reminder of the effect each act has upon his soul, with each sin displayed as a disfigurement of his form, or through a sign of aging.

"The Picture of Dorian Gray is considered a work of classic gothic fiction with a strong Faustian theme."


Picture of Dorian Gray at the Art Institute.


The amnesty ends tomorrow.


Comments welcome.


Posted on September 6, 2012

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