The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray: A Reader's Edition

The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray: A Reader's Edition

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by Oscar Wilde
     
 

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More than 120 years after Oscar Wilde submitted The Picture of Dorian Gray for publication in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine, the uncensored version of his novel appears here for the first time in a paperback edition. This volume restores all of the material removed by the novel’s first editor.

Upon receipt of the typescript,

Overview

More than 120 years after Oscar Wilde submitted The Picture of Dorian Gray for publication in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine, the uncensored version of his novel appears here for the first time in a paperback edition. This volume restores all of the material removed by the novel’s first editor.

Upon receipt of the typescript, Wilde’s editor panicked at what he saw. Contained within its pages was material he feared readers would find “offensive”—especially instances of graphic homosexual content. He proceeded to go through the typescript with his pencil, cleaning it up until he made it “acceptable to the most fastidious taste.” Wilde did not see these changes until his novel appeared in print. Wilde’s editor’s concern was well placed. Even in its redacted form, the novel caused public outcry. The British press condemned it as “vulgar,” “unclean,” “poisonous,” “discreditable,” and “a sham.” When Wilde later enlarged the novel for publication in book form, he responded to his critics by further toning down its “immoral” elements.

Wilde famously said that The Picture of Dorian Gray “contains much of me”: Basil Hallward is “what I think I am,” Lord Henry “what the world thinks me,” and “Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.” Wilde’s comment suggests a backward glance to a Greek or Dorian Age, but also a forward-looking view to a more permissive time than his own repressive Victorian era. By implication, Wilde would have preferred we read today the uncensored version of his novel.

Editorial Reviews

Toronto Star

Oscar Wilde just got a little wilder.
— Marcia Kaye

Bangkok Post

The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray is the latest edition of Wilde's only novel, but it is also the first. Editor Nicholas Frankel has followed the manuscript Wilde submitted to Lippincott's magazine in early 1890. Frankel poured over the original typescript and about 3,000 handwritten words Wilde added to it, restoring subtle but important romance between the three lead characters… The effect is not radical…but it is noticeable, and the book is more satisfying for his efforts… Frankel's uncensored version is closest to what Wilde intended before editors and hostile critics intervened, and it is also the most pleasurable to read… The Picture of Dorian Gray is a haunting, beautiful and important novel.
— Michael Ruffles

Paris Review

Now, for the first time, we can read the version that Wilde intended...Both the text and Nicholas Frankel's introduction make for fascinating reading.
— Sadie Stein

PopMatters

The Picture of Dorian Gray is just as spine tingling, relevant, and original now as it was in 1891. From the compelling story to the musicality of the prose to the symbolism, The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray is a great read.
— Catherine Ramsdell

Toronto Star - Marcia Kaye
Oscar Wilde just got a little wilder.
Bangkok Post - Michael Ruffles
The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray is the latest edition of Wilde's only novel, but it is also the first. Editor Nicholas Frankel has followed the manuscript Wilde submitted to Lippincott's magazine in early 1890. Frankel poured over the original typescript and about 3,000 handwritten words Wilde added to it, restoring subtle but important romance between the three lead characters… The effect is not radical…but it is noticeable, and the book is more satisfying for his efforts… Frankel's uncensored version is closest to what Wilde intended before editors and hostile critics intervened, and it is also the most pleasurable to read… The Picture of Dorian Gray is a haunting, beautiful and important novel.
Paris Review - Sadie Stein
Now, for the first time, we can read the version that Wilde intended...Both the text and Nicholas Frankel's introduction make for fascinating reading.
PopMatters - Catherine Ramsdell
The Picture of Dorian Gray is just as spine tingling, relevant, and original now as it was in 1891. From the compelling story to the musicality of the prose to the symbolism, The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray is a great read.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674066311
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
08/13/2012
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
84,633
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Nicholas Frankel is Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
October 16, 1854
Date of Death:
November 30, 1900
Place of Birth:
Dublin, Ireland
Place of Death:
Paris, France
Education:
The Royal School in Enniskillen, Dublin, 1864; Trinity College, Dublin, 1871; Magdalen College, Oxford, England, 1874

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The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray: A Reader's Edition 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is just a warning to prospective /paperback/nook customers - the digital version of this book is not "lavishly illustrated" and most shocking of all to me, Nicholas Frankel's extensive notes, which run alongside the text and which exceed the actual length of the novel itself, are not included! Yes, there are two rich scholarly introductions, replete with notes, and some three pages of notes to the actual text, but the "annotations" which have excited so much comment from reviewers are in fact missing from the kindle edition. After reading a number of reviews, I concluded that the actual text in its original form is not that great a revelation. What made this edition of interest to me were both the annotations and the 'lavish illustrations,' so praised by other reviewers. In fact Stonewall Riot Press has a complete, uncensored edition. The editor himself, JOHN MCARTHUR, praises Nicholas Frankel's annotations: "I was already at work on my edition of the text when I received my copy of Nicholas Frankel's P-book edition published in 2011 by Harvard University Press. Though I was somewhat dismayed at having been scooped, I could only admire the quality and thoroughness of Professor Frankel's scholarship. His notes, which run alongside the text, exceed it in length, and he also provides lavish illustrations and other resources. I heartily recommend this edition for readers seeking a scholarly edition for research purposes. I frankly cannot see how it can be superseded." Anyone looking for the complete "annotated and illustrated" version is advised to buy the hardback.
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