Talk:The Picture of Dorian Gray

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Former good article The Picture of Dorian Gray was one of the good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.

A Substanial Edit[edit]

I have made a large edit to this article, because I think I (with some help) can get it up to FA standard. An overview of my edits is as follows:

  • Expanded the lead
  • Added a character list, with a brief overview of each character
  • Created a section about The Preface, because it is a significant part of the book
  • Severely curtailed the section on the publication history, as the previous version was largely irrelevant. I still think more could be found out about the books history
  • Created the Themes section. I have tried to offer as many citations as possible. I plan to expand this section in the future
  • Removed the fodder from the previous article

I plan to build on this start, but are there any suggestions for what to add? -Adasta- 17:01, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

It's a good start. FA's on literature are among the more difficult (we have only a handful on classic literature sadly). Other things to add would be criticisms (contemporary and later), and a literary history (not the same as publication history, but could be integrated). Couple questions - what happened to the "Film" section, was it just deleted? Or moved to another article? We need to move all the Film Project tags and film categories to somewhere.
I added this to the Novels Wiki Project (just by adding the tag above). Not sure if this strictly qualifies as a novel, but the important thing is they have standards on how to bring literature articles up to FA, and resources to help. -- Stbalbach 01:32, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
I have a criticisms section in draft form, and am working to expand on that. I also hope to add to the Theme section. Could you expand upon the notion of a Literary History, and what you think that should entail?

I have removed all of the film references; if someone wants to talk about a specific adapation, they will need to create a page for that. I will remove all film tags now. -Adasta- 11:47, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Hmm. re: films I'm not sure if they should go on a dab page, a "in popular culture" page, or a " xyz (film)" page. Re: literary history, I don't have any critical editions but you would typically find a literary history as the first piece in a scholarly edition, the intro, preface, etc.. the "publication history" section is partly that now, but that's probably not a good name for that section, too limited in scope, it's more than just a publication history. -- Stbalbach 12:32, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
It appears the films are already listed in List of cultural references in The Picture of Dorian Gray, so problem solved. --Stbalbach 12:35, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

It seems that much of the writers own opinions and inferences are used to represent the argument that dorian gray was a symbol of homoeroticsm

There is an awful ot of repetition in the last part; the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is mentioned twice, the new Ben Barnes film is mentioned twice etc etc86.135.204.212 (talk) 07:57, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

On the Preface[edit]

I've cleaned up the formatting of the text of the Preface and have added some historical information noting the influence of Wilde's contemporaneous exposure to Daoism over the Preface. I'm not sure if this runs afoul of the "no original research" dictum of Wikipedia, but if it does, blame the Inaction of Wilde's scholars (of whom I have been among the most inactive) and revert at your leisure.

I would submit that the Preface is significant enough in and of itself to merit its own entry. As I myself am a partial adherent to that "great creed of Inaction," I'll leave the task, if worthy, to more industrious angels than myself.

Tatwell 20:45, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Dorian Gray in popular culture[edit]

The films, TV, comic books, etc.. all need to be listed in one article. It looks like a bunch of that material was just deleted outright, with a film-only new article created, and the TV stuff kept in this article - a confused mess. See Dante and his Divine Comedy in popular culture for how this is done. -- Stbalbach 18:55, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

I really don't think that that article has any need to exist. Those horrendous lists can easily be converted to good prose if someone would spend the time to do so. I don't think that your moving of relevent content to a page which is an incomplete list of things loosely related to The Picture of Dorian Gray benefits the main article. My edit with regards to Urashima Taro is not only a perfectly acceptable example of allusion within the novel, but also adheres to the templates found at the Wikinovels project. I think that the use of the Dante and his Divine Comedy in popular culture as an example is not wildly compelling as it is also merely a list, and the main article itself (Divine Comedy) is not a featured article.
I think we should be looking at articles like The Giver or The Illuminatus! Trilogy as examples of what this article should become. I would like to avoid an edit war, as I think it is entirely possible to incorporate that list into the main article without comprimising the article's quality. Surely that would meet both of our desires? -Adasta- 16:29, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, the popular list could be better formated, I didn't take the time to do so. The problem is there are so many references in popular culture, my guess is 100s if not many 1000s. Of course we can always have notable versions in this article, but the editor needs to justify why they are notable and why they stand above the crowd, as you say, in prose format - it's better to just have an open list anyone can edit with no worry about relevance, notability or quality because it will eventually get very long. Anyway, feel free to turn the notable adaptations into prose, that would be a great addition. -- Stbalbach 23:46, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
Actually, all the non notable references shouldn't even be in the article at all, read WP:TRIV. (talk) 05:13, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

The first episode of Series 4 of Blakes Seven has a reworking of the Dorian Grey story (the character in question being called... Dorian). Jackiespeel 21:19, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

May I suggest one paragraph here and a link to References to Oscar Wilde in popular culture, where the rest of the material can go? - Jmabel | Talk 07:26, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

I have nominated the article The Picture of Dorian Gray in popular culture for deletion. The prose here looks good to me, and the indiscriminate trivia in that article seems excessive. I hope that this article can remain free of trivia intrusion. The discussion is here. MLA 10:42, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

hope that this article can remain free of trivia intrusion. - No doubt you have added this article to your watchlist and plan on helping to that end. With that article deleted, this article will become a regular hot-spot of popular culture additions. I would be happy to notify you when new ones are added over the next couple years to see how things develop. -- Stbalbach 15:36, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your offer of assistance, it will undoubtedly prove as useful to have multiple editors removing unnecessary additions as I have found to be the case on Martial art external links and List of multiplayer browser games as well as New Page Patrol. MLA 08:56, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
An excellent use of our time, talents and energies. -- Stbalbach 15:45, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Well once again the article has turned into nothing but a bloated list of useless trivia. (talk) 05:13, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

RE: The Picture of Dorian Gray in popular culture. Good going with that a year later. I just reformatted and then deleted a completely extraneous entry that had already been covered. Not only is it snobbery to omit the information, you didn't even follow through. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:16, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

A third of the article on adaptions and trivia, and 4 lines about criticism of the book? Why are so many wikipedia articles on literature reduced to naming film adaptions? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:55, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Libertines reference is there twice, one should be removed —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:42, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

No offense, but the section is currently nothing but a huge list of trivia which is against wiki policies (WP:TRIV), especially considering two articles currently exist about Adaptations of The Picture of Dorian Gray and Music based on the works of Oscar Wilde. Most of that section should be either deleted or relocated, and the section should be changed to HOW the work has influenced popular culture and listing a few notable examples. The current length is unacceptable, especially compared to the length of the rest of the article. (talk) 05:00, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

This article is good[edit]

I have passed this article for good article status. Congratulations to everyone who's worked on it. I remember seeing this a few months back and it was a complete mess, so clearly a lot has been done in a short space of time. Bravo!

Now, assuming the aim is to get this through to FA status, a lot more needs to be done.

  • Some of the prose is less than ideal. Tony1/How to satisfy Criterion 1a is helpful, as are the exercises with it.
  • Peer review, peer review, peer review. Essential for correcting the article's mistakes.
  • See WP:WIAFA, and the links at the bottom.
  • More specifically, the first paragraph of the "Plot summary" is too floridly phrased. The rest of the prose is fine for GA, but that one paragraph is just a little too unencyclopedic. Rephrase.
  • The whole "Aestheticism" bit in the "Themes" needs to be expanded. The phrase "fin de siecle" (with the accents) must be included, preferably several times.
  • There was some positive reception to the book at the time. Louis Stevenson thought it was first-rate. That should be included.
  • Some more on modern criticism is essential.
  • All the popular culture + film references are fine now, but I really don't think that any more are necessary.
  • The two paragraphs following the heading "Literary significance" don't seem to me to have much to do with literary significance. They need to go somewhere else and filled in for.

I plan on staying around to help, so if any more nasties come to mind I'll point them out. Once again, congrats on all the hard work so far. It's got me interested, and I would love to see it get to FA. Good luck! Best, Moreschi 13:29, 29 August 2006 (UTC)


Looking back, is the whole anti-semitism thing really so important as to merit a whole subsection of its own? Mr Isaacs is most certainly a minor character in the book and any anti-Semitism involved is very minor. It's not like the Dickens, where the major villain is Jewish. I'd be surprised if most of the criticism of the book makes such a big deal of any anti-semitism as this article does. Undue weight? Moreschi Deletion! 20:16, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I think too much attention is paid to it. Also, it should be said that not every character in the book has a negative opinion of Mr Isaacs, Sibyl's mother praises him and Lord Henry is said to take an immediate liking to him. This isn't mentioned in the article and it seems to be implied that only negative opinions are expressed. Is it anti-Semitic to have one character express a dislike of a minor Jewish character? I certainly don't think so, particularly when other characters are given the opposite perspective.
Overall I don't think this section of the article is needed, in fact I found it a little irritating that it was included. As you say, it's all very well to put it in something like Dickens, or the Merchant of Venice where there is a clear question of anti-Semitism, but this whole subsection has arisen from a couple of minor passages which are negated by other parts of the novel. I would advocate deleting it. blankfrackis 14:59 21 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm going to delete it since no one's objecting, though it's not poorly written and is supported by sources; however, it does seem to get rather too much weight, especially since many of the points given argue against Wilde's anti-Semitism. In works like the Merchant of Venice and Oliver Twist I can certainly see why this issue should be addressed, but the unfortunate truth is that many classic 19th century novels refer passingly to Jewish characters in a manner that is likely to make us wince a bit today. It especially seems a bit strong to consider "Anti-Semitism" as a "Theme" of the novel, which is what the current arrangement implies. If someone feels that the theater-director is a more prominently discussed character than I am aware of, however, feel free to revert. (Eeesh 04:50, 23 June 2007 (UTC))

Linking dates[edit]

There was a concerted effort a few months back, using bots, to de-link excessive date linking in articles across Wikipedia. According to the manual of style on dates it says:

There is consensus among editors that bare month and day names should not be linked unless there is a specific reason that the link will help the reader to understand the article.

Just because there is a date in an article doesn't mean it should be linked. Only when there is a good reason to do so, when clicking on the date link will lead to a better understanding. -- Stbalbach 23:38, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

I thought that bare month and day names like wednesday and October should not be linked. But 21 October should since that way it will, according to one's date preferences, either show 21 October or October 21. Garion96 (talk) 23:52, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I see. -- Stbalbach 14:17, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Pardon me if it sounds flippant, but--so? Linking to dates is annoying, and almost never adds any additional meaning to the article. I think people can bear to have the date written in a European or American format that runs contrary to their own personal taste. - 21:58, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Ages of the characters[edit]

At the outset, the ages of the characters are:

Dorian, 20 Lord Henry, 30 Sybil, 17 James, 16

We are also told that Basil is a 'young man.'

'18 years later' we find Dorian, 38; Lord Henry, 48; and James, 44. Basil is murdered and Sybil committed suicide at 17.

The point is, some people want to make the homosexual relationship 'pederasty.' While there is a degree of older man/younger man influence, it is clear by Wilde's references to Henry and Basil also as 'young men' that the idea was more of experience/rookie; it was still on an adult theme (Dorian being 20 years old at the start).

R Young {yakłtalk} 07:39, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

"deference of aging"[edit]

"deference of aging"? Who is deferring to whom? Perhaps "deferral"? Or "postponement"? - Jmabel | Talk 03:47, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

I did actually intend to use the word "deferral", but I think I used "deference" by mistake. Well spotted; I will amend it now. -Adasta- 12:27, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

'Picture' as a Classic[edit]

The opening paragraphs of this article call 'Picture' a Western classic--a basically unanimous view--but it supports this claim by saying that the novel is one of the most popular novels:

"However, in modern times, the book has been referred to as "one of the modern classics of Western literature."[4]The BBC placed it at #118 in its "Big Read" list, a list of the 200 most popular novels."

If books like Fight Club manage to become among the most popular 200 books, will this be a sufficient basis for saying that such pulp fiction books are 'classics'? I should hope not. I don't object to noting 'Picture' as a popular novel; rather, my complaint is that its popularity is not evidence of its being a classic. We need a reference from a publisher, critic, et cetera, that lists it as such. - 21:50, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

This is a general problem with Wikipedia. We are not allowed (per NPOV) to make obvious and common sense value judgments (such as calling a book a classic) without a source, even if there is no disagreement and it is common knowledge. When you attribute it to a single person or source it opens a can of worms, as you have noted - usually though we get away with it because most people are not sophisticated enough to challenge the source as having a bias. I once had an editor suggest The Divine Comedy was not a classic because he had "never heard of it". Anyway, I removed the BBC sentence, it is original research to suggest it is a classic because of that, and being on a list of popular books isn't that notable. -- Stbalbach 15:23, 11 January 2007 (UTC)


This article makes provides another poor basis for a legitimate claim: it says, in the Anti-Semitism section:

"These incidents could exist merely to further highlight Dorian's shallow personality, as the descriptions are often concerned with the man's actions, or with what he wears."

That Dorian is shallow is a given, but how is judging a man by his actions shallow? How else ought we to judge a man? By what he doesn't do? The claim, "with what he wears" is perfectly appropriate as a basis for calling Dorian shallow, but "with the man's actions" is not. This needs to be fixed, as I'm sure we can come up with a better basis for calling his Anti-Semitism an example of his shallowness. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:55, 10 January 2007 (UTC).

De-listing GA[edit]

I have just delisted this article. For some strange reason, this article appeared on the peer review page, so I thought that the editors wanted a peer review. In the process, I discovered that it was GA and should not be. See my peer review here. It explains the problems I see with this page. Also, you might try to find out why your page suddenly appeared in peer review. I didn't look at the dates of the submission until I was done reviewing. Awadewit 02:30, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

I listed the article in Peer Review. ---Adasta- 12:17, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
That makes me feel better. At least I reviewed a page someone is working on. Oddly, your request is dated 2006. Awadewit 18:11, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
I think I must have messed up the process somehow...perhaps I didn't move the second peer review correctly (the last review was the second; this is now the third). ---Adasta- 18:16, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

(deindent) The peer review Awadewit links to above has been moved to Wikipedia:Peer review/The Picture of Dorian Gray/archive1, in case anyone is interested. 84user (talk) 07:17, 27 February 2009 (UTC) Oh, the archive system confuses me - there's a second page at Wikipedia:Peer review/The Picture of Dorian Gray/archive2, I could not find a third. 84user (talk) 07:28, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Sibyl, not Sybil[edit]

The etext verifies Miss Vane's Christian name as being spelled 'Sibyl', not the more common 'Sybil'. 17:34, 14 May 2007 (UTC) Wolfgang Maier, the author of the book Oscar Wilde. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Eine kritische Analyse der anglistischen Forschung von 1962 bis 1982, p. 7, states that this name is the name spelt wrong most commonly by the critics he examines (15 of 25 cases). 17:25, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Urashima Taro[edit]

Following my consideration of the anti-Semitism part of the article, I'm suggesting that the Urashima Taro section be deleted as well. There appears to be no evidence that this tale influenced Wilde (interesting though the suggestion may be), and on the article for the tale itself, there isn't even any information about when the tale has been told and published in English, so there's no basis for me to judge whether it was even possible that Wilde could have been familiar with it. What makes me especially dubious is the fact that there's an Irish folktale which is quite similar (and involving a person rather than a turtle), which, after all, seems much more likely to have influenced Wilde, if either did; and this tale, though mentioned, bizzarely doesn't get nearly as much attention as Urashima Taro does. My suggestion would be that the Urashima Taro discussion be deleted, and the Irish folktale discussion expanded, with perhaps a reference to the Japanese version at the end as another example of a similar story. (Eeesh 05:03, 23 June 2007 (UTC))

I do wish I would think out these things in the future before commenting on them, since I invariably grow stronger in my opinions the more I consider them, or regret having entered the conversation entirely. Anyway, I was first struck by the utter impropriety of including the Taro story under "allusions," since their are no allusions to the story in the PDG (under an "Influences" category, perhaps...), and then I remembered Tannhaeuser, which actually is discussed in the novel, and is really by far a much more likely influence on all counts. I'm certain enough that I think I'll go ahead and make the necessary changes myself. (Eeesh 05:13, 23 June 2007 (UTC))

Duplicate page?[edit]

Why is there a separate page on the character of DG, distinct from this page? It makes no sense to me. Shouldn't that one get deleted & anything relevant merged into this? --Wspencer11 (talk to me...) 11:44, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Similarity to Mr. Hyde[edit]

The end of the novel is obviously inspired by the end of Mr. Hyde, since them finding Dorian's corpse now resembling the painting's corrupted form resembles how they found Jekyll's corpse turned into Mr. Hyde. Enda80Enda80 —The preceding signed but undated comment was added at 23:25, August 21, 2007 (UTC).

Merge suggestion[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the merge proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the merge proposal was merge. I have redirected the articles, it is left up to further editor discretion as to how to merge. seresin | wasn't he just...? 04:53, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Someone prodded the article Dorian Gray. I think any salvagable information could be merged in here, and then a redirect created. This is way outside of my area of expertise, so I'm proposing the merge. --UsaSatsui 15:08, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Support this merge. Literary characters really only ever need their own page if 1) they appear in several works or 2) if the article on the work is so long and the character so central that he needs to be spun-off as a sub-article. Neither is the case here, so merging is a good solution. --JayHenry 18:44, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
Support - I have also tagged the stub Basil Hallward for merging. — TAnthonyTalk 18:12, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Oppose this merge for Dorian Gray, Support for Basil Hallward. Using JayHenry's definition #2, I think that the character Dorian is central enough that he needs to be spun-off into a sub-article. The entire character Dorian cannot be analyzed in just one line in the Character section. However, this is only my opinion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Blooooo (talkcontribs) 02:06, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Support for Basil Hallward.
Oppose for Dorian Gray, per the above from Blooooo. Mr Which 06:08, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
In response to both MrWhich and Blooooo, my preference would be to expand the amount of information on Dorian Gray given in this article. I agree the one sentence currently in the article is too little. But if you look at Dorian Gray, you'll see that it's just a plot summary, so that's not really a good outcome either. --JayHenry 03:54, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Oppose for merge of both because this is a book, a form of art, that is separate form both dorian gray and basil hallward, it does relate to both but it is still not close enough to merge and have as much useful content.Pocky09 04:58, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Support - AleXd (talk) 21:29, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Support - Mrmastodon32690 I don't think we need to necessarily cut down on the information presented in this article, just copy and paste it as a character bio section in The Picture of Dorian Grey entry.
Strong support. The current Dorian Gray article is terrible, and the description of the character in this article is equally abysmal. A merge could solve both problems. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 17:35, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the merge. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Marvel Illustrated - The Picture of Dorian Gray[edit] I think this deserves a mention somewhere in this article, but I'm not sure where. Kitaro53085 (talk) 18:46, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Maybe a one-two sentence mention under "Film, television and theatrical adaptations", and maybe change the header to just "Adaptations". Carl.bunderson (talk) 03:06, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

"Portrait" of Dorian Gray[edit]

"The story is often miscalled The Portrait of Dorian Gray." It is? Why is that in the lead paragraph anyway?--Lindsay (talk) 07:41, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

At first blush I don't find this inappropriate; I expect it's so the Cliff Note crowd out there doesn't have to read too unnecessarily far into the article. Mfryc (talk) 11:30, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
It seems to be called the portrait throughout the novel. Perhaps there is some scholarly research on this? I'll look into it. Roseclearfield (talk) 02:44, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Whether this remark belongs into the lead is indeed doubtful. It is however true: "The Portrait of Dorian Gray" and Google News; e.g. "OSCAR WILDE; His Failure and the Nonsense of Art for Art's Sake" by Cecil Chesterton, The New York Times (9 June 1912) PDF: "The Portrait of Dorian Gray has a nasty smell about it, but it is clever" -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 12:34, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
Good research, Mr Bernarek. Since it was uncited, and someone added a further deformation by calling it a "modernisation" I removed it. Would anyone have a secondary source on this mis-appellation? Otherwise we can just allow intelligent readers to deduce the error for themselves. Best, --Ktlynch (talk) 15:48, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
Searching Google's news archive or books throws up many occurrences (another from the NYT, the book Alterity, Identity, Image by Corbey & Leerssen, p. 64). Whether it's worth mentioning in the article, let alone in its lead, is questionable. Maybe a footnote. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 06:12, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
I always thought it was called 'The Portrait of Dorian Gray', and I think there should be some mention of this in the lead.VenomousConcept (talk) 11:53, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
IMO, the concept of "least surprise" fairly well demands that the incorrect title show up in the lead. At the moment, the alternate title redirects here, so I've bolded it as well. - SummerPhD (talk) 13:15, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure it is a mistake. I think perhaps it was published as 'The Portrait' in later editions? (I have no evidence of that)I'm just surmising that as I've always heard it called 'The Portrait' it must've been published under that name at some point. If you search for the book, it is published under that name. VenomousConcept (talk) 21:11, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Overtones or undertones[edit]

In one section of the article it refers to the novel's homoerotic/homosexual "overtones", while in another it is "undertones". Could someone fix this? TheListUpdater (talk) 16:31, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Etymology of Dorian: Gift?[edit]

The connection of Dorian Gray to the Dorian Greeks is a reach, especially if it's simply been done to intimate homosexuality. When I first read the name Dorian, I immediately thought of dôron (τό δῶρον), "the gift"; thus Dorian would be "the gifted one" (consider Pandora, Isidore, Theodore, Dorothy). Especially considering Dorian's virtues, this seems to be a far more reasonable etymology. Mfryc (talk) 11:30, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

The bloated "popular culture" section[edit]

No offense, but the section is currently nothing but a huge list of trivia which is against wiki policies (WP:TRIV), especially considering two articles currently exist about Adaptations of The Picture of Dorian Gray and Music based on the works of Oscar Wilde. Most of that section should be either deleted or relocated, and the section should be changed to HOW the work has influenced popular culture and listing a few notable examples. The current length is unacceptable, especially compared to the length of the rest of the article. (talk) 05:01, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

I have removed all the duplicated information and replaced it with a link. I left several of the allusions that have nowhere else to go, but they may ultimately need to be deleted since they are not particularly notable (IMO, don't know if there's a policy for that). --Jieagles (talk) 01:43, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Fictional Immortal[edit]

Is it appropriate to use the "Fictional Immortal" category in classifying Dorian Gray? He is not actually made immortal in the novel; rather he simply does not show the effects of age and vice. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:28, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Interesting, I think he would've been immortal if he hadn't killed the portrait at the end of the book. In my opinion, someone who doesn't age is an immortal, so the category is valid. The fact that he dies in the end is irrelevant, because after all vampires die if they're staked, garlic, silver etc yet they're still thought of as immortals.VenomousConcept (talk) 23:39, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Destroying the last vestige of his conscious will absolve him[edit]

I believe the painting is a demonstration of the harm he has done to his soul and also protection from the harm hedonism does to one's body, rather than a part of his conscience. Destroying the last part of his conscience would only make him sin more cause he wouldn't have any conscience to compel him not to. Destroying the painting because it allowed his hedonistic lifestyle without punishment makes more sense. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sdmitch16 (talkcontribs) 20:23, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

Cover photo is fake[edit]

The cover photo shows the cover's text continuing over parts of the cover page that are torn off. This is physically impossible. (talk) 00:54, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

"Irish novel"[edit]

The article is categorized in Category:Irish novels. I don't see why. It is set in London, was written in London, and Wilde had lived in England for 16 years when he wrote it. There are no secondary sources discussing the novel's "Irishness". Thus I'll remove the category. Huon (talk) 05:59, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

I see that by now it's no longer the article, but its eponymous category that's so categorized. The rationale for removing the category still holds. Huon (talk) 06:02, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
No, it doesn't. That's Category:Novels by setting, i.e. Category:Novels set in Ireland, you're thinking of. This is an absurd logic. You want to separate the novels from their writers? Gulliver's Travels, Dracula, Netherland, The Blue Lagoon, all written by Irish people but set elsewhere or in other worlds, cannot be Irish either, while Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Lord of the Rings cannot be English. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:48, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
"Categorization of articles must be verifiable. It should be clear from verifiable information in the article why it was placed in each of its categories." Right now the article doesn't support any claim of "nationality" for the book. Apparently there are some literary critics who see The Picture of Dorian Gray in a decidedly Irish context, but I cannot tell whether that's a mainstream position. If so, we should add something to that effect to the article. Otherwise we should remove the category as inappropriate. Huon (talk) 17:11, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Amazed to see this point even being discussed - Oscar Wilde is one of the greatest Irish writers, this is his only novel, so of course it's an Irish novel. The fact that he was living overseas when he wrote it is immaterial. If you start down the line of declassifying by the artist's national origin every work of art produced by someone who was living abroad at the time it was produced, you will have many absurd categorisations; James Joyce's works, for example, become French novels. Brocach (talk) 17:30, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
Oscar Wilde lived and died as a subject of the United Kingdom. Before 1922 I don't see much point in classifying novels by people from Ireland as "Irish" unless the novels themselves are particularly Irish - as Joyce's work certainly is, and Wilde's certainly isn't. Opera hat (talk) 00:11, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
It was hardly Wilde's fault that Ireland was subject throughout his life to British rule: he was an Irish nationalist and spoke repeatedly on Irish freedom during his 1882 US tour. Wilde was very proud of his mother's agitation for the Irish national cause and referred to Ireland as "my own country". Protesting against the English banning of Salome he proclaimed "I am not English; I'm Irish which is quite another thing."
The implication that Irish writers were British writers until 1922 is just silly. Brocach (talk) 16:25, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm not arguing that Wilde wasn't Irish, I'm arguing that the book doesn't have a nationality. Aestheticism and decadence, the artistic movements to which this novel belongs, were not particularly Irish, nor is this book an example of a decidedly Irish sub-genre. If you disagree and say it's so obviously Irish, it should be easy to find reliable sources to show that literary critics commonly call the book "Irish". For comparison, Britannica says, "The novel became a classic of English literature." Huon (talk) 16:58, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
"English literature", Huon, conventionally means literature in the English language, not "the literature of the English". English literature written by Irish people is (part of) Irish literature. Novels written in English by Irish novelists are Irish novels. You accept that Oscar Wilde was Irish. To claim that aestheticism and decadence were "not particularly Irish" is to ignore the fact than this Irish writer, Wilde, was the preeminent representative of both tendencies in English literature. Give up on this one: Wilde was Irish so his works were Irish, wherever they were written. Brocach (talk) 23:29, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Agh, you got in just before me pointing out that "English literature" is "literature in the English language". Opera hat (talk) 23:32, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
"Irish" wasn't a legal nationality during Wilde's lifetime. Whether or not his work should be regarded as "Irish" surely comes down to the content of the work itself - and as others have said, there's nothing particularly Irish about Dorian Gray. Opera hat (talk) 23:40, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Brocach, I'll gladly accept that the Britannica's use of "English literature" only refers to the language, but that's no reason to call this novel "Irish". I still haven't seen you present a reliable source to that effect. Huon (talk) 00:08, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

I made no reference to the Britannica, but if you regard that British publication as especially authoritative in these matters you can take its definition as reinforcing all the others that make the same point about the meaning of "English literature". You completely miss the real point here. The category for "Irish novels" contains, exclusively, novels by Irish writers. All that is required for a novel to be classed as an Irish novel is that it be written, as Dorian Gray was, by an Irish writer. There has never been any requirement for categorisation by nationality that a given work of literature confine itself to, or even contain, themes unique to the country of the author's birth. On that bizarre and anti-art scale you would presumably rule out Gulliver's Travels as an Irish novel, since it deals with places such as Brobdignag. Again: just give up on this one, you are not going to remove Wilde from the canon of Irish literature. Brocach (talk) 00:58, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
Let me guess, you have currently misplaced the reliable source that calls The Picture of Dorian Gray part of the canon of Irish literature? Huon (talk) 01:29, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Brocach that this issue is larger than just this one novel and have raised it at WP:WikiProject Novels#Category:Novels by country. Huon (talk) 01:57, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Plato's Republic[edit]

In the Allusions to other works section there is no specific reference to say that Wilde explicitly used the same device as Socrates. Is it actuAlly mentioned in the novel or is it an inference? (talk) 00:21, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Sentence fails to communicate[edit]

The following sentence, from the "Characters" section, fails to clearly communicate its message:

  • "He indulges in every pleasure (moral and immoral) which life eventually leads to death."

The sentence's "which" demands being offset by comma, but everything following the parenthetical interjection fails to communicate (as well as grammatically). Is the intended meaning "every pleasure... in life that will eventually lead to death"? "every pleasure... in life, a course which will eventually lead to his death"? Le Prof (talk) 08:27, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Acceptable sources for song lyrics[edit]

The U2 song "The Ocean" refers to--and was inspired by--TPoDG. As a reference for this fact has been demanded (even after I pointed out that the SONG ITSELF is the reference), I was wondering if there was any particular lyrics site (of the dozens and dozens available) that is seen as a better source than others? While I view demanding such a reference as a bit trivial, I will provide one. Hallward's Ghost (Kevin) (My talkpage) 22:31, 22 January 2016 (UTC)


Shouldn't the lede concentrate on the novel rather than the reaction to it? --John (User:Jwy/talk) 16:16, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

Frances Richards[edit]

I have recently expanded Frances Richards (Canadian artist) (also known as Frances Elswood Richards and Frances Richards Rowley). I have found several references to her portrait of Oscar Wilde and of this portrait being the inspiration for The Picture of Dorian Gray. It seems clear that Richards know Wilde, but the story of her portrait inspiring the novel seems less certain. What is the modern critical view on this? Are there any good sources. Does it merit mention in this article? Verbcatcher (talk) 07:05, 29 November 2016 (UTC)