Friday, February 22, 2008

The Picture of Dorian Gray

I finished the third book of those that have been recommended to me maybe two weeks ago. The first two were German, so I'll need a bit with the reviews (not that they'd be too interesting as both books are only available in German).

Upon seeing his own striking portrait Dorian Gray is bewitched and offers his soul if only the painting will age while he remains eternally youthful. Believing himself incorruptible, Dorian indulges in a life of pleasure and excess. But what has become of his portrait?

It was the first time for me to read this novel even though it is a classic and I'm a comparative lit major *blush* I read many other classics, but for some reason I never got around to read this one because from hearing about the story line (both of the book and the various movie versions) I didn't think it would be a book I'd be interested in reading. For some reason, I wasn't interested in the "young good-looking man trades his soul for eternal youth" plot. I guess I was simply too young at that time and my negative sentiments stayed with me until now.

This time, though, I was fascinated by the idea of trading one's soul for never-ending youth. I can't imagine every thinking about it, but the idea is one that must have crossed a few people's minds already. If one had the money like Dorian and nothing one did would show in our face, no sorrow, no pain, nothing - would it be worth it? Would it be worth losing one's soul?

Personally, I doubt it, as I feel the "learning-effect" of bad actions would get lost - and even more important, isn't it something we earn, the wrinkles and scars. They tell our story, the story of our life. They become part of us as we grow older, as we live.

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