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.

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2 thoughts on “The Twitpic/Snapchat/Selfie of Dorian Gray: The Masterpost, Part Two

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