Picture of Dorian Gray, The: My Self-Portrait of Not Being A Hedonist

I picked this because a professor at my undergraduate used to call me Dorian Grey.

I can see why.

When in college, I was terrified of growing older. I associated old age with the elders in my blood family who were not always the best of people. They tried their bests, I am sure; nevertheless, I was left with associating age with a lack of spine, or, worse yet, incompatibility with the modern world.

Dorian Gray, on the other hand, feeds on desire. He is a hedonist. Whilst I have disdain for such a life, I can see how one may confuse me for a hedonist. I love to live, for death comes to us all. Where I differ from hedonism is the lack of ethical strength in hedonist. Hedonism lacks an ethical code, and so pure hedonists are not ethically weak, but are ethically void.

Though that does not make hedonists bad people. It just makes me not a hedonist.

I, however, am splitting public hairs.

The novel itself left me wanting more of the periphery world. It is so realistic that I forget that it is to focus on one character. I love that in a work. It is also Oscar Wilde’s, and I love him.

The book describes a Victorian world that is rarely discussed in idealised forms (Steampunk, for example). The opium dens, the classism (the aristocrats are artists, but the poor are criminals), and the homophobia exist in tandem with a world in love with beauty, Latinate imagery, and anti-German tendencies.

I am glad that things have ‘changed’.

This is a work that spoke to me on a level that I was aware that I had, but it reinforced my values.

Overall, a great book for me. A great book in general.

Be safe. Be loved. Thou art beautiful.

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