The Picture of Dorian Gray
  
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The Picture of Dorian Gray, first published in 1890, is still one of the most riveting novels ever written. The genius plot has everything to capture and hold the imagination, from lust, debauchery and doomed romance though blackmail, murder and the disastrous effect of a morally depraved French novel. That’s not even counting the visits to the opium den, the addiction, the stalking or the string of deaths – accidental or self-inflicted. The characters are likewise intriguing in their extreme expression of hedonism, vanity, callous indifference and a host of other sins. But it is the relentless accumulation of evidence on Dorian’s picture which lends the narrative that brooding sense of Gothic horror which renders it so irresistible. Finally, Oscar Wilde’s masterpiece conducts an intertextual conversation with Hamlet, The Tempest, Goethe’s Faust and ‘Against the Grain’, a remarkable 1884 novel by Joris-Karl Huysmans.
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