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17 August 2008 @ 10:30 am
Dorian Gray, discussion one: ch. 1-6  
Esteemed members of Sparticus Ni, I would like to welcome you back to our first official-like discussion post for a while now. I hope everyone is enjoying their last days of summer as much as I have been and I hope you all made good on our hiatus and read some good books! If there was anything in particular be sure to tell us!

So now let's get on to our
I've really enjoyed this book so far I know I have a lot to say but what about you?

1. Okay, by now we are all aware that The Picture of Dorian Gray is being turned into a movie with our very own Ben Barns (and in a small part Max Irons, squee!) so when I started to read I could not help but creating my own cast. So far, who would you cast as who and why?

2. Oscar Wilde is primarily a playwrite and a poet as well, he gave us such works as The Importance of Being Earnest and Lady Windimere's Fan, how do you think this affects his ability as a novelist whethere good, bad or not at all?

3. What did you think of Dorian when you finally got to meet him after hearing such things about him from Basil for a whole chapter and what did you think of Sybil after hearing about her from Dorian? Why do you think Wilde did this, how do you think it affect our opinion of his characters?

4. I think it's safe to say that we all know this book is going to start getting rather gloomy, but looking at him now do you think Dorian has any redeaming qualities that could save him if he just holds on to them or is he just too moldable?

5. The back of my edition has some notes on the chapters: The name "Dorian" itself recalls one of the major anchient Greek peoples. Images of Greece also allow Wilde and mant other male aestheticists of the time to deploy a subtextual homoeroticism. How acurate do you find this?

6. Shakespeare said "all the world is a stage" but Mrs. Vane seems to take it past the limit. Do you think she has Sybil's best interests in mind and based on the knowledge of her failed relationship with a rich man what to do think will become of Sybil and Dorian? 
 
 
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ringbearer_89ringbearer_89 on August 20th, 2008 05:26 am (UTC)
1. I really like the casting of Ben Barnes as Dorian. I've pretty much gotten him stuck in my head for that character. As for the rest....I definitely love the idea of Rupert Everett as Lord Henry. He's just so charming and witty and blunt! Perfect for the character. I haven't really thought of anyone as basil....maybe that guy from Shakespeare in Love? The Fiennes guy.

2. I don't have too much experience with plays, but Wilde definitely does a great job of making very distinctive characters with unique voices. He does manage to keep the same witty dialogue in this book as he does in his plays.

3. I definitely think they don't exactly live up to their descriptions. Basil makes Dorian sound like he's beautiful and intelligent and just the most awesome person in the world...and maybe he would seem like that if Henry hadn't gone off on his whole rant about youth and preserving beauty, which made Dorian self conscious. I think Sybil, like Dorian, didn't live up to the hype (so to speak). But I think that's how we're supposed to feel.....maybe?

4. As much as I would like to believe in Dorian, he just strikes me as a lemming. He takes the things Harry says to heart and lets them change him. He doesn't seem to have very strong opinions of his own.

5. Ahem, I was wondering if this would come up as one of our topics of discussion. I definitely saw a stronger-than-friendship attraction that both men had towards Dorian. Basil is very obviously attached to Dorian and Harry pretty much wants to conquer Dorian (and I agree with Kirsten that it's just for the hell of it).

6. I agree with Kylah in that I think Harry is too young to be their father, but it definitely seems plausible that Harry's uncle could be.
Kirstenfreak4theater on August 20th, 2008 09:00 am (UTC)
Aw, alas my Harry=daddy theory has been shot down. Oh well, not surprised :)
I like Joseph Finnes for Basil... I don't know why I picture him so much older than Henry, it's just something weird in my brain, I guess.
Kirstenfreak4theater on August 20th, 2008 09:04 am (UTC)
PS:
DUDE Colin Firth is Lord Henry in the movie! For some reason I thought he was playing Basil.
But the guy from *ahem* The Water Horse is playing Basil. He was pretty great in that movie...

And as an interesting side-note, they've shortened the title to just "Dorian Gray". Thoughts?
ringbearer_89ringbearer_89 on August 20th, 2008 10:14 pm (UTC)
Re: PS:
I just looked up the cast again and I like the casting of Basil, but Colin Firth doesn't seem sprightly enough to be Henry...but maybe he's livened up a bit?

They probably shortened the title because it's easier to say "Dorian Gray" than "the Picture of Dorian Gray" or maybe not...it's much more to the point, lol.