I have decided to give this book a go, again. I first tried to read this when I was doing my M.A in London, but for some reason or another I couldn’t get into it. For example, there were times when I felt that the first few pages were just too rigidly male. That kind of pre-WWI, British, aristocratic maleness drenched in the cologne often referred to as eau de privilege. I’ve decided to retry reading this and putting my own skepticisms aside. I have been promised many good things by the reviews out there, so I remain hopeful. I read a little bit yesterday, but didn’t get too much into the novel because I was out at 90th birthday party. <<aspirations>>
In addition to this text, I’m also going to revisit Dr Margaret MacMillan’s history text, The War That Ended Peace. Dr MacMillan’s text is really readable, so do consider picking up this historical study of the lead-up to war and the consequences of the First World War. Particularly, in an age where we have been engaged in war without acknowledging it or its consequences, I think it is important to revisit and remind myself et al., of its impact. Indeed, perhaps it may seem problematic to re-schematise this age of war within a European/Western context, but a lot of the issues that have arisen in the Middle East are direct consequences of Europe’s post-war territory making and settlement of nations which did not even consult the peoples living in those territories.
I look forward to getting into this book. Additionally, the most-lovely Benedict Cabbagepatch has starred in the BBC dramatisation of this tetralogy of novels, so I may look into those once I have finished reading.
One last fancy. Why hasn’t he starred as Dorian Gray in OW’s The Picture of Dorian Gray? Hum, but let’s not do to the novel what they did with the most recent film. I refuse to link it here. I saw five minutes of it yesterday, and I found myself defending the novel, most adamantly. Ugh. Please, let’s all just take a moment to RESPECT Oscar Wilde’s genius and not just use his book as an excuse for lascivious screen shots. The book contains so many beautiful instances of pure artistic craft. It respects the various artworks and styles it encounters, and the reader is enraptured by Dorian’s collections and decadences. [aside: The reader sees Dorian take opium to forget. But this scene isn’t romanticised. A character (left ambiguous here) is having a terrible hallucination that makes the reader question—what terrible reality makes those hallucinations better? There is more to be said about this, but I’ll leave it here.] Wilde was put on trial and largely criticized for the novel, a piece of artistic genius, which does not contain explicit reference to sexual content (that’s for your own imagination). And, I think that’s the genius of Wilde’s novel. He’s telling the reader…’It’s not here, but you’re thinking it. Just try to stop thinking about it. GOTCHA’ Love this man. I’ll leave it here:
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book.
Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.
– Wilde, Preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Heaps of Love,