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/lit/ Literature

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Anonymous 2016-10-22 14:10:17 No.8645730

[Missing image file: ]

/lit/ please explain something to me. What did Dorian Gray actually do wrong? He killed Basil in self defense, and it wasn't his fault that Sibyl couldn't handle rejection. Is the story about an innocent man destroyed by the moralists of the era or am I missing the point?


>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 14:12:31 No.8645736
>>8645730
What did Dorian Gray do right?
He was a hedonist who was the same dead or alive. He wasn't worth an inch of what Basil or Sibyl was worth, and neither of them were exemplary people.

I honestly can't tell if this is bait, if it's not you are such a profoundly broken person that you can't understand that people have to be something before they can act innocently. That they effect others.

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Anonymous 2016-10-22 14:14:07 No.8645740
>>8645730
He desired beauty but his pleasures waned to the point of self-destruction. Wilde (along with Huyman and Bataille) is probably the most morally ambiguous author you will find though, that's the point his preface is trying to make.

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Anonymous 2016-10-22 14:15:05 No.8645746
>>8645730
He did feel bad for Sybil before seeing his portrait. The point is that once you're sure of impunity there's no limit to human degratation

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Anonymous 2016-10-22 14:22:20 No.8645776
>>8645736
So what was he supposed to do? Stick a broom up his asshole, take a vow of chastity and never experience anything interesting or pleasurable in his life? I don't think I have enough crippling depression and self-hate to fit in on this board.

Don't get me wrong, Basil's downfall was the real tragedy and all, but I still don't see how Dorian could have prevented that.

>>8645740
>Bataille
I like you.

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 14:24:59 No.8645784
>>8645746
The thing that struck me is that there really was a limit to his degradation. He could have committed some real atrocities. Instead he smoked opium and had sex. It feels like a tiny transgression for someone who could do anything in the world.

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Anonymous 2016-10-22 16:46:25 No.8646241
>>8645776
Dorian's vain and hedonistic lifestyle appealed to you? Yikes.

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Anonymous 2016-10-22 16:52:14 No.8646257
>>8646241
I don't agree with living how he did (I'm going to be a doctor soon and all I do is study) but what exactly did he do that's so worthy of scorn and punishment? That's the part that I don't understand.

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:12:48 No.8646321
>>8646257
He was given a preternatural gift and squandered it. He was seemingly ignorant of what he had and given the unique circumstances, was surprisingly nonchalant. There was a lot of potential with what he was given but he turned a blind eye in favor of a simplistic hedonistic life. For example, he could have used his good looks and charms to work his way up some political ladder to ultimately make a difference for his nation; instead of the road we were shown, we could have read about the journey of a sociopath and the inner workings of his mind as he gets to the top thanks to the supernatural.

Of course you could rightfully argue that he wasn't obliged to do any of that. But when you ask why he was worthy of scorn and punishment then I'll just simply answer by saying he reaped what he sowed. His deteriorated looks in the mirror was his true identity.

His reward was objectively deserved.

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:19:05 No.8646333
>>8646321
I think I understand better now. I still don't know what Wilde's intentions were but I suppose it is more of an issue of wasted potential than morality. I do still think that Dorian wasn't entirely at fault and was more of a product of his time than anything else.

They should stop teaching Dorian Gray in schools, they always teach it from purely a moralist "don't do drugs kids" perspective.

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Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:24:57 No.8646346
>>8645736
>people have to be something before they can act innocently.
So you mean they don't have to be innocent at all to be seen as innocent?

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:26:27 No.8646352
>>8646346
I'm just gonna assume he meant "indecently" because otherwise that shit makes no sense.

>>
kitty 2016-10-22 17:26:58 No.8646353
he eerily reminds me virginia woolf in appearance

>>8646321
>He was given a preternatural gift and squandered it.

"yet each man kills the thing he loves", apparently each man also squanders what he is given too

oscar wilde was sympathetic to it

>There was a lot of potential with what he was given but he turned a blind eye in favor of a simplistic hedonistic life. For example, he could have used his good looks and charms to work his way up some political ladder to ultimately make a difference for his nation

what
that's not what politicians are elected for, you mistake them for movie stars or something

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:28:55 No.8646357
>>8646321
I actually disagree with this assertion. Wilde himself was a man that valued beauty above all things in life, in art and in his sexual encounters. He wouldn't write a book that paints the will for power or some illusion of grandeur above pure aestheticism. The downfall of Dorian Grey is Wilde's experience with his young lover, his desire and his self-loathing for his indulgent and vain lifestyle. Gray is the object of Wilde's desire that will ultimately destroy him in the worst kind of manner, Henry is his public persona, Basil's more romantic leanings touch on his softer side etc. Dorian Gray is all about Wilde's inner conflict about his own philosophy.

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:30:29 No.8646362
>>8646333
Did Morals touch you funny as a child, you seem to constantly assume morals are per se wrong.

>>8646346
Well they can be innocent in the eyes of the law, but it would be the innocence of a stone and have no real meaning. To be innocent a person has to deviate (consciously or unconsciously) from evil.

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:32:43 No.8646367
>>8646362
>To be innocent a person has to deviate (consciously or unconsciously) from evil.
No, that's not how innocence works. Innocence means you haven't comitted any crimes or sins, regardless of consciousness, it has nothing to do with acting good.

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:33:07 No.8646369
>>8646357
This makes more sense than anything else posted in this thread. Thank you for your input.

There's a reason why, being gay, I identify more with Basil than any other character in literature. This book will always remind me of my first love and the heartbreak and self-doubt that followed

Sorry to go full homo there.

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:33:48 No.8646372
>>8646333
It's hard to know what Wilde's intentions were when he wrote the book. He initially began it on a bet; up til then he only really wrote short stories (and there are a lot of references to his short stories within the picture of Dorian Gray). It didn't take him a long time to write the novel so there might not have been too much thought put into it. What Oscar Wilde was primarily known for at the time was his wit in real life conversation. A lot of this wit can be seen through the dialogues of Lord Henry. I wasn't assigned the book in school so I don't know how it's taught; the controversial homosexual theme completely went over my head when I first read it.

An important thing to note about Wilde was that he himself was a man who fancied aesthetics and lived a rather hedonistic life. So maybe it was a bit of an ironic piece of writing which exuded some self-awareness. It may have made the people who disrespected him at the time change their view of him minutely.

My personal opinion is that Oscar Wilde was a pretty vain person. He lacked the depth that I enjoy in other 19th century authors. But he was a native Englishman and his writing was very pretty which complimented his wit.

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:33:52 No.8646373
>>8646321
Because Wilde thought the best goal in life was political power? Are you stupid?

The whole point of Dorian Grey is that it's an ethical examination of the "art for art's sake" movement Wilde was part of. What does it mean to lead an aesthetic existence?

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Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:34:58 No.8646378
>>8646372
>he was a native Englishman
Top jej me laddie

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:36:33 No.8646383
>>8646369
>tfw had the hardest crush of my life on a boy but am still attracted to girls
it's fucking weird man

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:36:35 No.8646384
>>8646367
Yes, not pursuing evil. Deviating from it. As opposed to a person who commits a crime without knowing it.

Several people identify innocence with the lack of knowledge, but really innocence is the lack of evil. I don't think we disagree, I think I just didn't phrase it clearly enough.

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:37:49 No.8646388
>>8646362
No, my uncle's name wasn't Morals.

In all seriousness though what you described is the antithesis of innocence. Experience is knowing evil exists and consciously avoiding it. Innocence is having no knowledge of evil. It's like you haven't even read William Blake, baka desu senpai

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:38:30 No.8646389
>>8646353
>some political ladder
I was not referring strictly to actual governmental politics. Also I'm not the type to romanticise, I was just giving an example.

>>8646357
I've read about how each of those three characters reflect upon Wilde. I forgot about it and came up with my own interpretation.

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:40:38 No.8646395
>>8645730
he thought he only wanted to be beautiful

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:41:43 No.8646398
>>8646373
Yes, I'm stupid. I'm an actual friendless neet.

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:42:37 No.8646400
>>8646383
I'm the same, anon.

>tfw had a crush on this guy for 7 years
>tfw was always rejected
>tfw now he wants to "experiment" and wants me to fuck his ass

I don't know how to feel. What would Lord Henry have done?

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:43:06 No.8646404
>Hey anon, you're the Dorian to my Basil

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:44:45 No.8646407
>>8646400
>What would Lord Henry have done?
Make some brilliant quip and then top him.

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:44:56 No.8646408
>>8646400
He would have listened to Xiu Xiu and cried himself to sleep for his romantic ideals, most certainly.

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:46:09 No.8646413
>>8646404
Does that mean I get to kill you and rid the world of your presence? Sounds good to me!

>>8646408
Xiu Xiu is too gay even for me

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:47:48 No.8646417
>>8646413
I recommend Parenthetical Girls for having a band that works in a similar way but you don't have to feel like you can smell the semen through your speakers.

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:49:53 No.8646424
>>8646417
Thanks but I only listen to vaporwave and Die Antwoord.

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Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:55:03 No.8646442
>>8646413
>It means I want to fuck you, anon

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Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:56:26 No.8646447
>>8646442
OK let's fuck, just don't poz my neghole. That won't look very nice on the painting, after all.

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Anonymous 2016-10-22 17:59:38 No.8646461
>>8646447
>Anon-kun, you're such a fucking faggot holy shit

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Anonymous 2016-10-22 18:02:20 No.8646468
>>8646404
>>8646442
>>8646461
Who the fuck is this guy?

This is really bothering me, please respond

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 18:13:53 No.8646500
>>8646468

It's Morrissey. I considered myself exclusively heterosexual until I realized I'd go gay for Morrissey.

From what I understand he's a total wanker though, but god damn, young Morrissey is 10/10 qt3.14 tier.

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 18:14:31 No.8646501
>>8646468
Michael Stipe from the famous jangle pop band Orange Juice you dip.

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Anonymous 2016-10-22 18:51:23 No.8646627
>>8646384
Oh, alright. I thought you meant you had to do good, and not just not do evil, in order to be innocent.

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Anonymous 2016-10-22 18:57:22 No.8646646
>>8646627
Not doing evil makes you innocent in a legal sense, but innocence in a literary/philosophical sense still implies having no true understanding of evil. That's why a child can do morally wrong things and still be innocent.

>>
Anonymous 2016-10-22 19:44:19 No.8646793
>>8645730
>>8645776
>>8646321
The picture that just keeps giving.







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