IL RITRATTO DI DORIAN GRAY: ANALISI
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray – THE PREFACE
The Preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray is a Manifesto where the writer expounds his theory about writing, putting into discussion existing theories.
The preface offers one of Wilde's most famous aphorisms: "There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.
IL RITRATTO DI DORIAN GRAY: ANALISI LIBRO
That is all." According to Wilde, the artist might consider the moral or immoral lives of people as part of the subject matter of a work, but art itself is not meant to instruct the reader. The true artist is not out to prove anything and makes no judgments of right or wrong. What people call "vices" or "virtues" are merely materials for the artist. Those who attempt to go beneath the surface of a work, or to read meaning into a symbol, do so at their own risk. Considerable disagreement about a work of art only proves that the work is "new, complex, and vital."
Wilde concludes the preface by saying that it is fine to create something useful so long as it is not admired as art. The only reason for creating something useless is to admire it a great deal. Thus, "All art is quite useless." That is, it exists for its own sake as art ("art for art's sake") and not for some moral purpose.
The preface sets the tone for the book and lets the reader know that The Picture of Dorian Gray will be a book of expansive ideas and wonderful language.
IL RITRATTO DI DORIAN GRAY: ANALISI DEL TESTO
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Chapter 1 – Basil’s studio. The extract in exam opens with a detailed description of the setting. Here the writer gives voice to a series of sensorial images (visual, olfactory and auditive), thanks to which the reader can make a mental picture of the room where the indoor scene takes place. The connotation of the space is conveyed thanks to a careful, and obsessive too, focus on the furniture’s details, typical of Aesthetic movement and Pre-Raphaelite art, which creates an exotic atmosphere of Persian taste (“the divan of Persian saddle-bags”) where research for beauty is the order if the day.