Book History Assignment - The Picture of Dorian Gray
The July 1890 edition of Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine introduced the public to the thirteen chapter version of The Picture of Dorian Gray. It was met with such a tumultuous uproar that Oscar Wilde felt that he must explain and defend it. Wilde added a chapter giving explanation of the characters. After several alterations and additional chapters, the final version was released in 20 chapter book form in April of 1891.
The composition of the book has an interesting section where it seems as though it has been written by someone else. Wilde was precise about advancing the story no more than a week or two throughout the book, and then there is a section where he advances years at a time. He goes from leaving the small details to the imagination of the reader to giving concise descriptions of everything Dorian has started collecting.
There have been several movies adaptations made with either the actual story or the ideals of Dorian Gray. One such movie of the latter is The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Dorian Gray is one of the antagonists in this movie and while there are elements of similarities to the book, it is not remotely the same story. The 1945 film variation, The Picture of Dorian Gray is close to the original story, with a major addition; Dorian falls in love with Basil Hallward’s niece, someone who was never introduced in the original story.
It is not so much what was going on during Wilde’s life when he was writing The Picture of Dorian Gray as more what happened after. The critics tore both into the story and Oscar Wilde. The book was called immoral and Wilde originally responded in a letter to Arthur Conan Doyle, "I cannot understand how they can treat Dorian Gray as immoral; my difficulty was to keep the inherent moral subordinate to the artistic and dramatic effect" (Buma). He later responded in the preface of the 20 chapter book with “There is no such thing as a moral or...