The Twitpic/Snapchat/Selfie of Dorian Gray: The Masterpost, Part Two

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Hi again!  Here’s what you missed on Whitney Livetweets Dorian Gray:

Pretty much.  You can read part one here, if you haven’t already.  Anyway, onward!

  • Now Dorian’s going to hide the picture away for good. Awesome.
  • Hm. “Now [the coverlet] was to hide something that had a corruption of its own” – so Dorian’s already distancing himself from the portrait
  • Reminds me of something I said in class today [today meaning probably a week ago, by this point]- that perhaps Dorian glories in the difference between his face and the portrait because (1/2)
  • (2/2) the uglier the portrait gets, the less it looks like him and the more he can separate his deeds from himself.
  • “…for a moment he regretted that he had not told Basil the true reason why he had wished to hide the picture away.” TELL HIM, YOU DOLT
  • “Basil would have helped him to resist Lord Henry’s influence” – oh my flipping GOD
    TELL
    HIM
    ABOUT
    IT
  • “The love that he bore him–for it was really love–” ARGHasd;lfjas;lkdgjalksjdg I can’t
  • “It was such love as Michelangelo had known, and Montaigne, and Winckelmann, and Shakespeare-” he mentioned friggin’ SHAKESPEARE, Y’ALL
  • As in the Shakespeare who wrote over a hundred sonnets to a HOT YOUNG DUDE
  • side note, I wrote a whole paper about how weird it was that Shakespeare didn’t actually make any Jupiter/Ganymede allusions in the sonnets
  • just the fact that he didn’t try to characterize his feelings for the fair youth as fitting the typical homosocial mold struck me as strange
  • ahem. anyway.
  • “But it was too late now.” – oh my burger-flipping god, it is NOT
  • “His own soul was looking out at him from the canvas and calling him to judgement.” And of course, you’re not going to listen. Of COURSE.
  • Huh. It’s interesting that Dorian’s keeping the picture in what was essentially his childhood playroom.
  • Preserving his youth in more ways than one.
  • Fast-forward a few pages. Dorian’s reading a book Henry sent him and having some sort of epiphany.
  • Surely not a good one, knowing Henry and his ways.
  • Update: I’m pretty sure Dorian’s reading the single most pretentious book ever. I think, anyway. I can’t make head or tail of the paragraph.
  • “It was a poisonous book.” Yeah, you know what, I’ll just go with that.
  • Whoops, Dorian was just super-late to his meeting with Henry because of that poisonous book. Boy, do I know that feel.
  • “For years, Dorian Gray could not free himself from the influence of this book.”
  • Dorian’s seriously obsessed with this dang book, and it’s getting a little creepy.
  • The hero of this Parisian novel has to age and be sorrowful. Cue much schadenfreude on Dorian’s part.
  • “He had always the look of one who had kept himself unspotted from the world.” was… was that a pun
  • Oh man, that was an *excellent* pun. Slow-clapping it out over here.
  • #gettheetoapunnery
  • there’s such a Hyde-ish vibe to Dorian’s “mysterious and prolonged absences” – makes me think Dorian and Hyde would get along well
  • well, either that or kill each other
  • (has someone written this fanfic yet? because this is a thing I need in my life)
  • I’ve spent the past few minutes staring at the paragraph beginning, “Often, on returning home…” and holy cannoli, y’all.
  • This paragraph is incredible. I’m having a bona fide English Major Moment(TM) over here.
  • This part was what first caught my eye: Dorian staring at the “evil and aging face on the canvas.”
  • “So aging is evil, then?” I thought. “Or at least that’s what Dorian thinks.”
  • See also: “…wondering sometimes which were the more horrible, the signs of sin or the signs of age.”
  • Then I realized what my bro Oscar’s doing: he is TEARING TO SHREDS the idealization of youth, not just in this book but EVERYWHERE
  • We see it in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, we see it in the story of Evelyn Nesbit, we see it on the runways of today with all these (1/2)
  • (2/2) stick-thin models. They’re slim like children.
  • But my BFF Oscar just swoops in here with this novel and is like:
  • A huge part of the appeal of youth is the innocence that supposedly comes along with it
  • I think it was @yoyology who shared something on Facebook about the Exorcist movies being about young girls who suddenly grow up- same deal
  • Which means, if “young” and “innocent” are peas in a pod, their opposites “old” and “evil” are also peas in a pod
  • And Oscar is absolutely RIPPING THAT IDEA APART.
  • Dorian preserves his youth, sure, but (contrary to what his pals think) it’s at the expense of his innocence
  • GOD. THIS BOOK. I’M IN LOVE
  • Gosh. Dorian even has a second room, a second name, and a disguise. #hydeandseek
  • Okay, there has to be a point at which somebody gets suspicious of Dorian and his never-aging thing.
  • “How long have you been twenty, Dorian?”
    “…a while.”
    SORRY NOT SORRY
  • Oh my god, y’all, I’m reading a Salon article on the uncensored version of Dorian Gay and HOLY GAY, BATMAN
  • Remember Basil’s speech? The one that was already the gayest of the gay? WELL, IT WAS ORIGINALLY EVEN GAYER
  • “…I have worshipped you with far more romance of feeling than a man should ever give to a friend. Somehow I have never loved a woman…”
  • once again, Felix is me and I am Felix:
  • Anyway, where was I?- ah yes, Dorian’s descent into depravity. Marvelous.
  • pssssst Dorian’s aesthetic is “graceful fopperies” pass it on
  • This entire passage on the denial of sensation is simultaneously really Hydesque and not
  • Indulging more primal urges in J/H is ugly. Hyde’s the face of it. But Dorian genuinely believes indulgence can be beautiful.
  • So many interesting comparisons are just itching to be made between these stories.
  • When I have a free moment (L O L), I’ll definitely scour JSTOR and Project Muse for comparative analyses.
  • Re: the passage about waking up, I got nothing. It’s just… wow. I had to read it about three times to grasp it. Dang, Oscar.
  • “It was rumoured of him once that he was about to join the Roman Catholic communion” – I ALMOST JUST SCREECHED WITH LAUGHTER
  • Dorian’s basically a Catholicism windowshopper. The “ritual,” apparently, is what fascinates him.
  • If Dorian lived in 2014, he’d be the kind of ignorant white person who gets an om symbol tattooed on his foot
  • While we’re on the topic of Oscar Wilde, I’m rereading @mallelis‘s article and giggling dreamily:  http://the-toast.net/2013/09/17/oscar-wilde-and-walt-whitman-did-it/
  • Aahhhh, now we’re to the music section. “At another time he devoted himself entirely to music…”
  • I specifically noticed this section during class on Friday because it was SO RACIST
  • I won’t quote stuff, but suffice it to say that Dorian gets people of all historically oppressed races to play music for *his* pleasure.
  • His primal, sensual pleasure to boot. Blech.
  • If I didn’t already lack any sympathy for Dorian…
  • Man, I have to get through the whole rest of this tonight. *jumps around like a runner before a race* I can do this. I can totally do this.
  • Right, where did I leave off?… blah blah Dorian is racist blah blah cultural appropriation… okay, yeah.
  • So I move on from all the racism in the previous paragraph, right, and I see this: “appeared at a costume ball as Anne de Joyeuse”
  • Y’ALL. DORIAN IN DRAG. THIS IS NOT A DRILL
  • “This taste enthralled him for years, and, indeed, may be said never to have left him.” oh my GOD
  • Okay, looks like the rest of this paragraph is a big ol’ inventory of Dorian’s jewel collection. Moving on.
  • Hm, now this is interesting (and also somewhat Orientalist later in the paragraph): Dorian’s connecting jewels with mythology.
  • There’s even a mention of Philostratus in here, hearkening back to all the Greek mythology references from earlier.
  • Oh good god, he’s still talking about jewels. If this is what goes on in Dorian’s head all day… sigh.
  • “No winter marred his face or stained his flowerlike bloom.”
  • I am seriously losing so much patience with Dorian’s extended I-was-royalty-in-a-past-life daydream.
  • Good grief, Dorian’s collecting everything important to every culture ever. So basically he’s creating the British Museum.
  • Though I do like the implication that Dorian’s hardcore racism is making the picture get ugly. I like it a lot.
  • Now we’re getting a montage, basically, of the intervening few years.
  • All the while, Dorian’s getting worse and worse separation anxiety w/r/t the portrait.
  • Reminds me of Jekyll and how he can’t separate himself from Hyde in the end.
  • “For, while he fascinated many, there were not a few who distrusted him.” CALLED IT
  • “Society–civilized society, at least–is never very ready to believe anything to the detriment of those who are both rich and fascinating.”
  • me when I read that part:
  • Dorian thinks he’s the reincarnation of pretty much everybody important, and it’s getting REALLY dull.
  • “Yet one had ancestors in literature as well as in one’s own race” – oh god no MAKE IT STOP
  • Unsurprisingly, Dorian’s not just fascinated by historical luminaries, but by historical criminals and madmen as well.
  • Oh thank goodness, this chapter’s FINALLY OVER. Good heavens, that was a slog.
  • “It was on the ninth of November, the eve of his own thirty-eighth birthday” – holy mother of god, what
  • Seriously, SO MANY PEOPLE have to be suspicious by this point.
  • “He’s 38 but looks 20! Dermatologists HATE him!”
  • the fact that I’ve spent the last two minutes laughing at that joke should tell you a lot about me
  • A wild Basil appears! This is going to turn out terrible, isn’t it?
  • “Let me come in for a moment. I have something to say to you.” – Basil just now. I fully expect more gay.
  • Oh man, Basil’s here on Srs Bznss. Namely, the horrible rumors about Dorian.
  • “Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man’s face.” Basil, your naïveté is less charming than frustrating at the moment.
  • Again, though, Basil’s being a concerned friend/decent human being. For Pete’s sake.
  • Look, I made myself a badge to go with my new title:
    Screen shot 2014-10-08 at 12.21.10 AM
  • And of course, what does Dorian do whenever Basil shows concern for him? Act like a TOTAL JERK, THAT’S WHAT
  • “One has a right to judge of a man by the effect he has over his friends.” – an excellent point by Basil
  • wait, Dorian did WHAT to Henry’s sister?
  • It’s super-fascinating, actually, that Dorian seems to have the Midas touch of evil with his friends and associates.
  • Just like Jekyll can’t confine Hyde to a couple minor excursions or whatever, Dorian can’t confine his own evil to the portrait.
  • “They say that you corrupt every one with whom you become intimate” – oh GOD what does that mean for Basil
  • please please please don’t let Basil become evil
  • I’d hate to have to discard my shiny new badge
  • “If you tell me that [the rumors] are absolutely untrue from beginning to end, I shall believe you.” – DARN IT, BASIL
  • just for ONCE, could you let your common sense outweigh your feelings for Dorian?
  • Oh god. Dorian’s taking Basil to see the portrait. Oh god oh god oh god oh god
  • This is going to be terrible, I just know it.
  • Preparing for impending emotional devastation ft. my fleecy blankie and my stuffed tiger Hobbes
    Photo on 2014-10-08 at 00.33 #2
  • A new chapter, and immediately we get some of that classic Gothic scene-setting.
  • “The lamp cast fantastic shadows on the wall and staircase. A rising wind made some of the windows rattle.”
  • “‘Shut the door behind you,’ he whispered”- DO NOT SHUT THE DOOR. I REPEAT, BASIL, DO NOT SHUT THE GORRAM DOOR
  • “The room looked as if it had not been lived in for years.” So the portrait room has decayed along with the portrait.
  • Oh man, Basil knows everything now, and he’s FREAKING OUT.
  • I want to reach into the book and hug Basil so much right now
  • “I don’t believe it is my picture.”
    “Can’t you see your ideal in it?” said Dorian bitterly.
  • There we go again, with the whole ripping-apart-the-youth-and-innocence-link thing.
  • Basil’s seeing his ideal ripped apart – or distorted almost beyond recognition, more like – before his eyes.
  • “I worshipped you too much. I am punished for it. You worshipped yourself too much. We are both punished.” – you’re killin’ me, Basil
  • “‘It is too late, Basil,’ he faltered. ‘It is never too late, Dorian.'” aka what I’ve been saying THIS WHOLE TIME
  • “suddenly an uncontrollable feeling of hatred for Basil Hallward came over him” – NO.
  • NO. NOPE. NO. NOT ALLOWED.
  • Dorian Gray, as captain of the Basil Hallward Defense Squad, I hereby place you under arrest and charge you with being TOTALLY HORRIBLE
  • NO, DORIAN, NOT THE KNIFE. ****NO.****
  • I mean, I totally knew it was going to happen, but still NO.
  • ME RIGHT NOW:
  • “The friend who had painted the fatal portrait to which all his misery had been due” – DORIAN, I AM FED UP WITH YOUR CRAP RIGHT NOW.
  • Man, something about characters who patently refuse to take responsibility for their actions just makes me foam at the mouth
  • I’m practically breathing fire over here
  • And he won’t even acknowledge Basil as a *person* anymore. He’s just “the dead thing,” an “it.”
  • “It was like a dreadful wax image.” – okay, putting my fury aside for a moment: in this moment, it’s like Basil has become the image (1/2)
  • (2/2) of Dorian’s soul, of all the terrible things he’s done (because this is surely the most terrible yet).
  • Now Dorian’s trying to cover his tracks, an endeavor which apparently requires the assistance of a certain Alan Campbell.
  • What do you want to bet Alan Campbell is someone who has the misfortune of owing Dorian a favor?
  • Of course Dorian wakes up looking like a total freakin’ angel. As if I needed another reason to hate him.
  • “He winced at the memory of all that he had suffered” – oh, CRY ME A RIVER
  • Dorian, in his eternal boredom, is doodling people. And surprise surprise, all these people look like Basil.
  • Everything is reminding Dorian of Basil now, and I’m just over here rubbing my hands in vengeful glee.
  • Alan Campbell’s an ex-friend. Hm. So either I was right and he owes Dorian a favor, or he’s just going to refuse to help Dorian.
  • Whoop, Alan Campbell just showed up. Darn. I was hoping he’d leave Douchian in the lurch.
  • “He knew that what he was going to do was dreadful.” – oh god, if Dorian’s actually *admitting* that, then this is sure to be a doozy
  • Are you serious right now, Dorian?
  • “there’s totally a dead body in my attic, lol, but DON’T ASK ME ANYTHING ABOUT IT, k old sport?” – Dorian, pretty much
  • You cannot seriously expect Alan to go along with this, Dorian… unless you’ve got blackmail material on him, in which case.
  • Dorian literally just told Alan he murdered Basil. How is Alan not running screaming from the house?
  • …so wait, Dorian *doesn’t* actually have any blackmail material on Alan? I’d think he would’ve whipped it out by now.
  • “[Dorian] stretched out his hand, took a piece of paper, and wrote something on it.” – I take it back, he’s def blackmailing Alan
  • “‘I am so sorry for you, Alan,’ he murmured” – sure, Dorian.
  • Dorian is definitely subtly threatening to murder Alan right now
  • So now Dorian’s manipulated Alan into getting rid of the body for him. In other news, Dorian is still a horrible person.
  • Oh god, Dorian forgot to cover the portrait after he killed Basil. Does that mean Alan is going to see it and realize what’s up?
  • YIKES – the portrait looks “as though the canvas had sweated blood”
  • that is totally not creepy at all and a great thing to be reading at night
  • quality bedtime stories with Whitney 2k14
  • I’m on chapter 15 now. I still have 35 pages left.
  • Dorian’s at yet another godforsaken party, as if nothing happened. Of course he is.
  • I hope this is where everything blows up in his face, though.
  • >oh yay, another female character!
    >darn it, she’s insufferable too
  • I’d say we’re overdue for another James Vane appearance. Here’s hoping he crashes this party and gives Dorian what-for.
  • Curious how Henry seems to have disappeared from the story, for all intents and purposes.
  • I mean, Dorian’s evil enough for the both of them by this point. The two of them in a room together would probably end the whole world.
  • Well, okay, Henry just came to this party Dorian’s at. Sigh.
  • Blah blah blah gossip and snark blah blah
  • Henry: So what all were you up to last night?
    Dorian: *sweats*
  • Just that question, apparently, got Dorian so out of sorts that he had to leave the party early. *smirk*
  • God, I will be *so* happy when Dorian gets what’s coming to him.
  • I’m guessing Dorian has drugs or something in this cabinet he keeps staring at.
  • Ooh, now Dorian’s going somewhere. In the middle of the night. Up to more depravity, I suspect.
  • And that was the end of chapter 15. I’m so close.
  • “There were opium dens where one could buy oblivion” – oh. He’s going to OD, I bet.
  • The road to opium is paved with classic Gothic descriptions, apparently.
  • “‘You here, Adrian?’ muttered Dorian.” – Oscar got in one last gay reference before novel’s end. #idol
  • “‘I am going on to the other place,’ he said after a pause.” – either he means an afterlife, or this other place has prostitutes…
  • really, knowing Dorian, it could be either one
  • “‘Prince Charming is what you like to be called, ain’t it?'” – in which an unnamed woman gets one of the book’s best burns
  • “he felt himself suddenly seized from behind” – by James Vane, I bet
  • YES. It *is* James Vane, and he has a gun to Dorian’s head.
  • James has been hunting Dorian for years, apparently. That seemed weird to me until I remembered James didn’t even know his name.
  • “I knew nothing of you but the pet name she used to call you. I heard it to-night by chance.” – James “Sherlock” Vane
  • “Dorian Gray grew sick with fear. ‘I never knew her,’ he stammered.”
  • OH NO NO NO NO. I think Dorian’s going to pull the I-still-look-twenty-years-old card so James doesn’t shoot him. AUGH.
  • “[James] loosened his hold and reeled back.”
  • But wait… a wild woman from the opium den appears!
  • Oh man, whoever this lady is, she’s telling James what’s up. Thank you, random citizen.
  • Well, that was a short chapter. Surely Dorian’s about to die now, though. Surely.
  • Looks like we’ve jumped forward about a week, and Dorian is doing that thing where he lounges around and does absolutely nothing. Again.
  • Today on Spotify Knows My Mind: the current track is “Kick in the Ass” by Moxy Fruvous
  • I definitely just skimmed over a solid three pages of banter between Henry and that annoying lady
  • HAAAAA. James was just staring through a window at Dorian, and it scared Dorian so much he fainted. Excuse me while I howl with laughter.
  • Dorian’s finally leaving the house again after that big ol’ scare, because that’s surely going to end so well.
  • True to form, just being in the presence of a hunt makes him happy, and he only wants to spare that one rabbit because it’s pretty. Typical.
  • Looks like this Geoffrey dude just had a Dick Cheney moment…
  • If Geoff shot James Vane somehow, I’m going to be so mad.
  • I didn’t realize until Henry spoke – I was kind of hoping he was the one who got shot…
  • Oh well, Vengeful Vane is still alive. That’s a silver lining, at least.
  • Not gonna lie, I’m relishing every second of Dorian’s meltdown.
  • UM. NEVER MIND.
  • Looks like that mysterious dude was Vengeful Vane after all. DARN IT.
  • And Dorian’s over-freakin-joyed to find out Vengeful Vane is dead.
  • whoa, whoa, whoa, back up – Alan Campbell offed himself?
  • …all things considered, I probably shouldn’t be surprised.
  • Aaaaand now Henry’s brought up Basil’s disappearance. This is going to go splendidly.
  • “hey what if Basil were murdered hahahah asking for a friend” – Dorian, basically
  • Henry’s asking all sorts of loaded questions, and yet he still doesn’t seem to know what’s up. This is tense as all get-out.
  • oh for God’s sake, Henry, the LAST THING any of us needs right now is another of your treatises on youth
  • Now I’m getting the feeling Dorian’s going to off himself…
  • I’ve only got five pages left. He’s got to die at some point.
  • “Yet you poisoned me with a book once.” – at least Dorian really knows what’s up now. Still doesn’t redeem him, though.
  • “But was it all irretrievable? Was there no hope for him?” – um no
  • NEWSFLASH: Dorian is *finally* taking some form of responsibility for his mistakes… several years too late.
  • “His beauty had been to him but a mask, his youth but a mockery.” – again, if you’d thought this years earlier, Dorian…
  • “It was better not to think of the past.” – NO, YOU ROTTEN SACK OF TRASH.
  • “Basil had painted the portrait that had marred his life. He could not forgive him that.” – I just… god. No.
  • “oh hey, I’m being good now, maybe my portrait doesn’t look completely terrible” – Dorian. You keep telling yourself that, kid.
  • Breaking news, the portrait still looks ghastly, and somehow Dorian is still surprised.
  • “The picture itself–that was evidence. He would destroy it.” – oh, I see how it’s going to be (I think).
  • Destroying the picture will be destroying part of himself, so he *will* destroy himself in the process. How poetic.
  • Oh, but this is lovely – the portrait’s now restored to its initial glory, but Dorian’s dead body is old and ugly.
  • Okay, Oscar, I forgive you for making me wait a ridiculously long time. That scene was worth all the buildup.
  • Well. I’ve finally finished. Good god, that was quite the ordeal.
  • now for some fix-it fic ahahahaaaaaaaa
  • This one fic has the tag “Basil lives.” Dear author, you understand me so well.
  • A couple last thoughts on Dorian Gay, now that I’m awake…
  • I love it that Dorian, despite something of a change of heart at book’s end, isn’t ultimately redeemed.
  • He has to bear the physical marks of his depravity – him, and not the portrait.
  • Which brings me to the portrait. That thing is CREEPY AS HECK-ALL
  • You cannot tell me that thing’s not sentient. It has a self-preservation instinct, for crying out loud.

There you have it!  Next time: Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw.

The Twitpic/Snapchat/Selfie of Dorian Gray: The Masterpost, Part One

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I couldn’t decide.

Hello again!  I recently finished reading/livetweeting Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.  Here are approximately half my tweets about it (this thing got too long to make it one post – the second part is here):

  • OK SO since I have ten thousand things to study/my sister’s visiting this weekend, I’m going to go ahead and start livetweeting Dorian Gray.
  • “The dim roar of London was like the bourdon note of a distant organ.” <– just spoke to this ex-organist’s soul
  • Oh man, I have NO IDEA why Basil might have disappeared, does anyone else????? ;)))))))
  • Basil’s looking at “the gracious and comely form” of picture!Dorian and smiling, and I’m trying to contain my gleeful snickering.
  • “there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about” – ah yes that’s the Oscar I know
  • “I really can’t exhibit it. I have put too much of myself into it” – an actual thing that Basil actually just said
  • in other news, I think I just leveled up in my silently-laughing-my-head-off game
  • I’m actually twelve years old, y’all
  • “this young Adonis, who looks as if he was made out of ivory and rose-leaves” – Lord Henry. So is everyone in this book a little gay or…
  • I mean I would 100% not argue if that were to be the case
  • “Why, my dear Basil , he is a Narcissus” – PFFFFFFFFFT OH MY GOD
  • Oscar Wilde just put all these other Gothic writers to SHAME in the foreshadowing department
  • “But then in the Church they don’t think.” Oscar is not even in the general area of messing around
  • Well, good heavens, Basil’s quite the Debbie Downer.
  • “Yes, that is his name. I didn’t intend to tell it to you.” “But why not?” “Oh, I can’t explain.” *spends a whole paragraph explaining*
  • “When I like people immensely, I never tell their names to any one. It is like surrendering a part of them.”- another actual Basil quote
  • If this is how homoerotic the published version is, I can’t even imagine how homoerotic the original draft was.
  • (side note: please tell me the original full-gay draft exists because it’s something I need in my life)
  • Okay, now there’s talk of Basil and Henry “ensconcing themselves.” lol bye
  • like I’m sorry but that sounds unbelievably gay (actually, I’m not sorry, who am I kidding)
  • Also I was definitely picturing Michael Caine as Lord Henry so it was a bit of a shock to see him described as “young”
  • Henry wants to know why *exactly* Basil won’t exhibit the glorious Dorian picture. Oh hon, let me explain you a thing.
  • “Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.” Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
  • I’ll have to keep that quote in mind.
  • Sooooooooooo basically when Basil and Dorian met, it was love at first sight…
  • Or, more accurately, oh-no-I-don’t-need-to-get-into-all-this-crap at first sight. On Basil’s part, at least.
  • “oh no he’s hot” – Basil, pretty much
  • “Something seemed to tell me that I was on the verge of a terrible crisis in my life.” so basically you saw a gay crisis on the horizon
  • “she is a peacock in everything but beauty” – NEW FAVORITE INSULT OH MY SWEET LORD
  • and actually, since male peafowl are the colorful ones, that insult would work even better for men
  • don’t mind me while I spin in my work chair out of sheer delight
  • “[Dorian], too, felt that we were destined to know each other.” eyebrows waggling so hard
  • Man, Lord Henry is laying down some SICK burns right now. I couldn’t possibly sum these up in tweets.
  • How often *do* you see Dorian, my dear Basil? *winks outrageously*
  • “Every day. I couldn’t be happy if I didn’t see him every day. He is absolutely necessary to me.” – Basil Hallward, ladies and germs
  • this is so great
  • Henry: “I thought you would never care for anything but your art.”
    Basil: “He is all my art to me now.”
    oh my GOD
  • that is actually the most romantic thing I’ve read since the last time I went on a Merthur fluff kick
  • “The harmony of soul and body–how much that is! We in our madness have separated the two” immediately an interesting contrast w/Jekyll
  • Basil admits to “curious artistic idolatry” also known as gay
  • “But the world might guess it , and I will not bare my soul to their shallow prying eyes” – actually painful, considering Oscar’s trials…
  • “Then I feel, Harry, that I have given away my whole soul to some one who treats it as if it were a flower to put in his coat…”
  • okay no my heart is actually hurting for Basil right now
  • we’ll see if that keeps up, I guess
  • “Days in summer, Basil, are apt to linger” – OH, YOU THINK?
  • “What you have told me is quite a romance” – y’all, Henry knows EXACTLY what’s up
  • Oscar spends so much time describing the garden and yet it’s somehow not annoying
  • it’s tremendously at odds with the Gothic genre, really, that this novel starts in a garden
  • “I don’t want you to meet him.” “You don’t want me to meet him?” “No.” goodness, someone’s feeling possessive
  • SPEAK OF THE DEVIL. A WILD DORIAN APPEARS
  • and all that was only one chapter.
  • “When [Dorian] caught sight of Lord Henry, a faint blush coloured his cheeks for a moment” – bam I ship it
  • “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.” yeah, no wonder Basil says Henry’s a bad influence
  • that definitely doesn’t seem like the wisest thing to tell someone who’s already super vain and capricious
  • Uh. So Henry may have just been an even worse influence on Dorian than Basil feared.
  • “yOU HAD ONE JOB, HENRY” – Basil, probably
  • And Henry knows exactly what he just did, the little turd.
  • Basil: “I don’t know what Harry has been saying to you…” Oh, honey, you’re in for a nasty surprise.
  • Oh god, Henry’s “looking at [Dorian] with his dreamy languorous eyes.”
    dreamy
    languorous
    eyes.
  • If this were a Shakespeare play, Henry would be the Fool character. He absolutely knows what’s up and drops truth everywhere.
  • Also dear god now I’m shipping Dorian/Basil/Henry
  • “[Henry’s] romantic, olive-coloured face and worn expression interested [Dorian].” I swear to you I am not making this up
  • “yes 911 I think I’m having a gay crisis” – Dorian, pretty much
  • “…youth is the one thing worth having.” that’s hilarious, I can pinpoint the moment when Henry ruins LITERALLY EVERYTHING
  • and to make things worse, Henry WON’T LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE BECAUSE OF COURSE
  • Henry, you are way too young to be so cynical
  • (full disclosure, I say that to myself at least once a week)
  • not appreciating the offhand, derisive references to women
  • oh my god, Dorian and Henry just had a Serious Gay Moment and I can’t handle it
  • Y’all, Henry REALLY wants to buy that portrait of Dorian.
  • Now Dorian is FREAKING OUT about getting old and it’s ALL HENRY’S FAULT UGH
  • “‘This is your doing, Harry,’ said the painter bitterly.” At least Basil figured out pretty quickly what’s going on.
  • “Sin is the only real colour-element left in modern life.” Good god, Henry might as well be sprouting horns.
  • No, I don’t want to hear more about Henry, actually. So over that little turd.
  • Yep, Henry’s definitely still got some sort of gay thing going on for Dorian.
  • and would you look at that, more derisive references to women… let’s just hope it’s something peculiar to Henry and his lot
  • Now Henry’s reflecting on the previous night’s dinner with Dorian, and SURELY this cannot get any gayer.
  • This is seriously approaching Carmilla levels of gay tbh
  • “Talking to him was like playing upon an exquisite violin. He answered to every touch and thrill of the bow.” I’M JUST GONNA LEAVE THIS HERE
  • “[Henry] would seek to dominate [Dorian] –had already , indeed, half done so.” NO. GO AWAY, HENRY
  • Man, from what little I knew of the novel before I started reading it, I thought Dorian was going to be the arrogant jerk. HOW WRONG I WAS
  • Today’s delicious turn of phrase: “so dreadfully dowdy that she reminded one of a badly bound hymn-book”
  • I’m having flashbacks to my pseudo-Lutheran childhood right now. I can picture exactly the type of badly bound hymn book.
  • Everyone at this dinner party is gossiping about some dude named Dartmoor. I’d say “poor chap,” but he’s got a hot American girlfriend, so.
  • “I believe she has made up her mind to propose to him, Duchess.” – ooh, I like her already
  • “‘Dry-goods! What are American dry-goods?’ asked the duchess…
    ‘American novels,’ answered Lord Henry.”
    OH
    OH SNAP
  • My bro Oscar is pulling ZERO punches right now
  • …you know, as much as I hate Henry, I have to admit his sense of humor is spectacular.
  • Henry and Mr. Erskine are totally looking at each other like this:
  • “To get back one’s youth, one has merely to repeat one’s follies.” I just got a This Is Significant feeling from this line
  • *bookmarks the page*
  • Newsflash, Dorian literally just ditched Basil to hang out with Henry.
  • I feel like Henry is basically a personification of the Bad Idea Bears from Avenue Q
  • Oh wow. In all this gay, I’d kind of completely forgotten that Henry’s married.
  • “She tried to look picturesque, but only succeeded in being untidy.” – actually me though
  • “…[Victoria’s] fingers began to play with a long tortoise-shell paper-knife.” – um, Dorian? She literally has a knife.
  • “I am too much in love.” – an actual thing Dorian just said.
  • “Who are you in love with?” asked Lord Henry after a pause. WOULDN’T WE ALL LIKE TO KNOW
  • “‘With an actress,’ said Dorian Gray, blushing.” SUUUUUUUUUUUUURE I TOTALLY BELIEVE YOU
  • “My dear boy, no woman is a genius. Women are a decorative sex.” – and wouldja look at that, I hate Henry twice as much now as I did
  • What’s weird is that a lot of the time, I feel like Henry’s the character who serves as the mouthpiece for Oscar’s normal sense of humor.
  • So my question is, is Henry a mouthpiece for Oscar in this particular moment? Or is Henry thoroughly separate?
  • Uuuuuugh… I’ll just skip right over the wildly anti-Semitic bit here…
  • Sibyl Vane –> Basil… Vyne? I don’t know, I’m just trying to convince myself that Dorian’s actually talking about Basil here.
  • In related news: Basil can come back ANY TIME. I like him much better than Henry.
  • Sibyl Vane does Shakespeare, apparently. I like her already.
  • And, interestingly, one of the roles in which Dorian sees her is Rosalind… a cross-dressing role.
  • That’s also the performance after which Dorian first talks to Sybil. Just saying.
  • “There were poisons so subtle that to know their properties one had to sicken of them.” – definitely hearkens back to Jekyll and Hyde
  • hOLY WHAT – DORIAN IS ENGAGED TO SIBYL – WHAT THE –
  • WELL **THAT** WAS FAST
  • okay, I’m definitely reading another chapter because there’s no way I’m ending on a cliffhanger like that
  • Yay, a switch to a female character’s point of view! Here’s hoping it’s not still horribly misogynistic.
  • Good grief, Mrs. Vane is quite the buzzkill.
  • This could be a product of the late hour, but I don’t know what to make of the general Vane family dynamic. It’s just weird.
  • I do think it bodes only ill, though, that Sibyl knows Dorian pretty much exclusively as “Prince Charming.”
  • Sibyl is idealizing Dorian hugely, which can do nothing but worsen his vanity and obsession with youth.
  • Princes, after all, eventually become kings, and kings eventually get old.
  • (yes, I know that’s a vast oversimplification of actual monarchical systems, but I really don’t care at the moment)
  • James Vane seems like the most sensible character in this whole book… and at the same time, I worry about him.
  • He’s a wild card, I feel like. Who knows what he could do if he eventually returns from Australia?
  • James and Mrs. Vane just had the most awkward family dinner in the history of family dinners.
  • “Tell me the truth. I have a right to know. Were you married to my father?” – James is pulling zero punches as well…
  • No, as it turns out. Mrs. Vane was *not* married to James’s father.
  • ooooHHHHHH Henry’s about to break the news of Dorian’s impending marriage to Basil. I bet this is going to go so well.
  • “Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.” – Henry nails it again
  • I really hate Henry Wotton but he’s so often right about things: a novel by me
  • Honestly, what stuns me the most at this point is Basil’s stubborn faith that Henry isn’t all that terrible
  • Like no, Basil, Henry is actually kind of a horrible person and you of all people should know that by now
  • “I have the greatest contempt for optimism.” – oh, go suck an egg, Henry
  • Dorian’s wearing an “evening cape with its satin-lined wings,” so of course my first thought is VAMPIRE
  • I have vampires on the brain. Thanks @carmillaseries
  • “When [Sibyl] came on in her boy’s clothes, she was perfectly wonderful.” – Dorian. I’m just going to waggle my eyebrows and move on.
  • Dorian is going into WAY TOO MUCH DETAIL right now
  • you can stop now, Dorian, this is getting a little weird
  • Makin’ it weird with Dorian Gray 2k14
  • “I love Sibyl Vane. I want to place her on a pedestal of gold” – OKAY STOP RIGHT THERE DORIAN
  • This is going to end so badly. SO badly.
  • repeat after me, Dorian the Explorian: putting women on pedestals is NOT GOOD and you should not do the thing
  • a wise person said once that pedestals are narrow and people tend to fall off them
  • “When I am with her, I regret all that you have taught me.” ……..now that’s a bright side if I ever heard one
  • “Discord is to be forced to be in harmony with others.” – you selfish stinkmuffin, Henry, I hate you so much
  • “Women treat us just as humanity treats its gods. They worship us” – okay stop right there Henry
  • me re: Henry all the freakin’ time:
  • “Harry, you are dreadful! I don’t know why I like you so much.” – literally the most accurate thing ever
  • watching Henry spout all his weird philosophical bullpocky strangely parallels my experience reading Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles
  • both of them are horrifying but I can’t stop reading
  • Awww oh god, now we’re getting a super gay interlude from poor Basil
  • “His eyes darkened, and the crowded flaring streets became blurred to his eyes.” – oh god, y’all, I think he’s actually crying
  • a potential subtitle for this novel: Nothing Good Happens to Basil Hallward
  • gosh, I just love starting out a new chapter with a generous dollop of anti-Semitism
  • Dorian is taking Basil and Henry to the theater to see Sibyl, because that’s SUCH A GOOD IDEA AND BY THAT I MEAN ABORT MISSION
  • another possible subtitle for this story: Never Let Henry Wotton Near Anything You Love Because He Will Ruin It
  • “the huge sunlight flamed like a monstrous dahlia with petals of yellow fire” – interesting contrast w/the peaceful flowers of the beginning
  • Basil’s being such a supportive friend right now but I bet he’s going to go home and weep into his pillow, poor thing
  • I mean, I don’t think Basil’s perfect by any means. He pedestalizes Dorian in the beginning of the book, just as Dorian does to Sibyl.
  • And certainly his taste in friends is… erm, questionable (COUGH COUGH WHY ARE YOU STILL FRIENDS WITH HENRY)
  • but god, I feel for Basil more than I feel for any character in this whole book
  • protect Basil Hallward at all costs
  • And of course, Sibyl has her off night tonight. Of *course.*
  • This is going to end SO WELL, Y’ALL
  • “It was simply bad art. She was a complete failure.” – because if someone isn’t good art, they’re completely worthless, right????
  • And I mean, that’s definitely Oscar’s whole point, that people aren’t art and treating them as such will only result in disaster
  • “Besides, I don’t suppose you will want your wife to act” – good grief, Henry hit the nail on the head once again.
  • “Ah! can’t you see that my heart is breaking?” – Dorian just now. Sorry, bro, I literally have no sympathy for you.
  • that is what you freaking get when you put people on pedestals – disappointment when they wobble and fall off
  • Now Sibyl is telling Dorian about “the silliness of the empty pageant” that is acting. Um. This isn’t going to turn out well.
  • Dorian’s already been thinking of her as art. She’s effectively slashing his canvas.
  • Suddenly I’m really worried for Sibyl.
  • DORIAN, YOU INSENSITIVE SPECIAL-SNOWFLAKE SACK OF MANURE
  • I just love it when we get a whole paragraph of Dorian being a grade-A terribro.
  • “I don’t wish to be unkind, but I can’t see you again. You have disappointed me.” – Dorian, being quite unkind indeed
  • Oscar’s wonderful at descriptions, though. I should take notes.
  • “In the huge gilt Venetian lantern, spoil of some Doge’s barge” – welp, that clattering sound is my train of thought derailing
  • such Venice. much big. very light. wow.
  • Oh man, y’all. That portrait of Dorian is smirking now, and Dorian is getting majorly creeped out.
  • “He had uttered a mad wish that he himself might remain young, and the portrait grow old” – mad indeed, Dorian
  • OH GOOD – “a feeling of infinite regret came over him” re: Sibyl.
  • For a second here, Dorian’s tempted to just go straight. Ahh, if only.
  • “The birds that were singing in the dew-drenched garden seemed to be telling the flowers about her.” – more gardens.
  • “It was long past noon when he awoke.”
    First thought: Dorian, you lazy bum.
    Second thought: I’m one to talk…
  • “He seemed to have forgotten all that he had gone through.” – no, dang it, don’t regress now
  • “[The picture] had made him conscious how unjust, how cruel, he had been to Sibyl Vane.” GOOD
  • I mean, I know this fit of conscience isn’t going to last, but I’m just going to enjoy it in the meantime.
  • Dorian’s writing a novel to Sibyl, “imploring her forgiveness and accusing himself of madness.” This is good. Something’s going to ruin it.
  • “Suddenly there came a knock to the door, and he heard Lord Henry’s voice outside.” – AND THERE YOU HAVE IT
  • “Yes, it was better to let Lord Henry in” – no, Dorian, that is not better at all, that’s the worst decision you could make right now
  • And what words of wisdom does Henry have to offer this time? “You must not think too much about it.” *glares*
  • “It is dreadful, from one point of view, but it was not your fault.” – shut up, Henry. Just shut up.
  • Dorian: “I know what conscience is, to begin with. It is not what you told me it was. It is the divinest thing in us.”
  • Also Dorian: “I want to be good. I can’t bear the idea of my soul being hideous.” hahahAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA YOU HAVE NO IDEA
  • AUGH. Sibyl is dead. SON OF A-
  • of COURSE the only prominent female character dies
  • Typical Henry, only concerned with the possibility that Dorian’s name will get wrapped up in a scandal. TYPICAL.
  • “I have no doubt it was not an accident, Dorian” – oh god no no no no crap no
  • Dorian: “”why is it that I cannot feel this tragedy as much as I want to?” Dude, you’re probably in shock. Get some tea or something.
  • “It seems to me to be simply like a wonderful ending to a wonderful play.” – oh crap, no. No, Dorian, don’t do that life-as-art thing again.
  • god, what a fool Dorian is
  • Henry finds an “exquisite pleasure in playing on the lad’s unconscious egotism.” Tell me something I don’t know.
  • This next bit is just a huge block of text with Henry talking, and my eyes definitely glazed over the second I saw it.
  • Come on, Whitney. You can do this. (god, I’m having to give myself a peptalk, this is pathetic)
  • “Some one has killed herself for love of you. I wish that I had ever had such an experience.” JESUSMADIA HENRY PLEASE SHUT UP FOREVER
  • And the sentence following that: “It would have made me in love with love for the rest of my life.” EXCUSE ME WHILE I HURL
  • Oh man, I’m not even going to – jeez. Let’s suffice it to say that Henry’s saying some super rape-culture-y stuff here. Yecch.
  • What really gets me is that my capstone prof has had male students before who super-duper identify with Henry.
  • Like great, fantastic, can you never come near me again?
  • “You have explained me to myself, Harry” – no no no no no no no no no darn it
  • “You are certainly my best friend. No one has ever understood me as you have.” – Dorian to Henry. Urgh.
  • I know full well that nothing in this book is going to end well, but that definitely doesn’t keep me from facepalming at it.
  • “Was [the portrait] to become a monstrous and loathsome thing, to be hidden away in a locked room” – ahahahaha about that
  • “What did it matter what happened to the coloured image on the canvas? He would be safe. That was everything.” DRAT
  • welp, that’s it, everything’s doomed
  • Oh look, Basil’s being a concerned friend/decent human being again and completely breaking my heart in the process. The usual.
  • At Basil’s very understandable concern, Dorian looks “dreadfully bored” and I kind of want to throw something.
  • “Don’t talk about horrid subjects. If one doesn’t talk about a thing, it has never happened.” – you sound just like your BFF Henry, Dorian.
  • Also, how is it that Dorian knows of James’s existence, but Basil doesn’t? Did Dorian actually pay enough attention to take note of that?
  • side note, “charming” is probably the last word I would use to describe James Vane
  • Basil is indignant and concerned that Dorian had a night of revelry, as he very well should be.
  • “You call yesterday the past?” – Basil, in the best smackdown this book has seen yet
  • I bet Basil’s kicking himself right now. “I should never have introduced Dorian to Harry,” he’s probably thinking.
  • again: never let Henry Wotton near anything you love
  • Okay, stop the presses. Dorian literally just said to Basil, “You only taught me to be vain.” WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN SMOKING, BRO
  • Dorian to Basil just now: “But I know that you are better than he is.”
    …wait. Did that actually just happen?
  • Did Dorian actually just admit that his supposed best friend is kind of a piece of dreck?
  • This book is full of surprises. I’ll just leave it at that.
  • “The painter felt strangely moved.” – oh no, Basil, not you too
  • I feel like literally every terrible thing in this story could be avoided if Basil didn’t stubbornly believe the best of everyone
  • Now Basil wants to see the portrait of Dorian, and D-bro’s having a real panic moment.
  • Y’know, Dorian, if you’re that freaked out about Basil seeing the evil portrait, maybe you shouldn’t keep doing stuff that makes it change?
  • Oh, come ON, Dorian, you can’t seriously be that surprised that Basil wants to exhibit the painting. He’s an artist, for crying out loud.
  • Oh, I’d forgotten Basil’s earlier insistence that he wouldn’t exhibit the picture. Whoops.
  • Dorian’s about to ask Basil why he refused to exhibit the picture at first. I sense a gay confession on the horizon.
  • Basil: “Dorian, if I told you, you might like me less than you do, and you would certainly laugh at me.” *chinhands* I’m listening…
  • “Dorian, from the moment I met you… I was dominated, soul, brain, and power, by you.” – Y’ALL.
  • this is some Fitzwilliam Darcy ish right here, I swear
  • my face right now, pretty much:
  • related: I can’t find that one Felix gif, again, and it’s annoying
  • next time I should just bookmark the gif, because I will almost certainly end up using it again
  • oh THANK GOD (credit to felix-effing-dawkins on tumblr):
  • I might as well just keep that gif open in another tab, because now that I’m finished scouring the Internet, it’s time for more Basil gay.
  • “You became to me the visible incarnation of that unseen ideal whose memory haunts us artists” – oh god, oh no, stop
  • More of the people-as-art thing. Nope. Nope nope nope darn it
  • “I wanted to have you all to myself. I was only happy when I was with you.”
  • Now this is interesting. Before the notorious portrait, Basil had painted Dorian in all sorts of mythological situations.
  • First, “as Paris in dainty armour”- but Paris isn’t especially known for beauty so much as being the ruin of Troy
  • Not to mention the whole judgment-of-Paris thing, his seduction of Helen, and the fact that he killed Achilles.
  • It’s a shame I don’t know too much about mythology. I get the feeling the Paris connection is really interesting.
  • Next up on the mythological reference list is Adonis. Literally an ideal of male beauty. I’m not saying this is supergay, but it’s SUPERGAY
  • And then there’s the reference to Dorian sitting “on the prow of Adrian’s barge.” As capstone prof explained, that’s homoerotic as heck.
  • Hadrian and Antinous = queer as heck-all. Also, there was definitely an Antinous reference earlier.
  • Carmilla still has this book beat on the gay scale, though, because kissing actually happened on the page in that one.
  • It makes a lot of sense, actually, that painting Dorian as he was made Basil face his own gay feelings.
  • Casting Dorian as a mythological figure probably created a sort of distance between him and Basil.
  • Brb putting “self-appointed captain of the Basil Hallward Defense Squad” at the top of my resume
  • Basil apparently recovered from his little gay spell “as soon as I had got rid of the intolerable fascination of [the portrait’s] presence”
  • Well, OBVIOUSLY. It’s much easier to downplay your emotions when the thing provoking them isn’t present. I speak from personal experience.
  • “I see now that you were right . The picture cannot be shown.” – drat and bother
  • “As I said to Harry, once, you are made to be worshipped.” – darn it, Basil, that’s the LAST thing you need to say right now
  • “My dear Basil,” said Dorian, “what have you told me? Simply that you felt that you admired me too much.”
  • To which Basil replies: “It was not intended as a compliment. It was a confession.” Rip my beating heart from my chest, why don’t you?
  • “But still I don’t think I would go to Harry if I were in trouble. I would sooner go to you, Basil.” – Dorian just now
  • “There seemed to him to be something tragic in a friendship so coloured by romance.” AUGH MY **HEART**
  • me right now:

There you have it!  I’ll post part two soon, probably tomorrow.