Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Picture of Dorian Orange

A Halloween homage to Oscar Wilde

  "How sad it is!" murmured Dorian, with his eyes still fixed upon his own portrait. "How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrible, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young . . . "

 " . . . and, though I am a little jealous of the picture for being a whole month younger than i am, I must admit that I delight in it."

 "The quivering, ardent sunlight showed him the lines of cruelty round the mouth as clearly as if he had been looking into a mirror after he had done some dreadful thing."

 "There were no signs of any change when he looked into the actual painting, and yet there was no doubt that the whole expression had altered. It was not a mere fancy of his own. The thing was horribly apparent."
 "A sense of infinite pity, not for himself, but for the painted image of himself, came over him. It had altered already, and would alter more. Its gold would wither into grey. Its red and white roses would die. For every sin that he committed, a stain would fleck and wreck its fairness."

 "Was it to become a monstrous and loathsome thing, to be hidden away in a locked room, to be shut out from the sunlight . . . "

 "Now it was to hide something that had a corruption of its own, worse than the corruption of death itself - something that would breed horrors and yet would never die."

 "What the worm was to the corpse, his sins would be to the painted image on the canvas. They would mar its beauty, and eat away its grace."

 "Beneath its purple pall, the face painted on the canvas could grow bestial, sodden, and unclean."

 "He would examine with minute care, and sometimes with a monstrous and terrible delight, the hideous lines that seared the wrinkling forehead or crawled around the heavy sensual mouth, wondering sometime which were the more horrible, the signs of sin or the signs of age."

"An explanation of horror broke from the painter's lips as he saw in the dim light the hideous face on the canvas grinning at him."

 "[Dorian] looked round, and saw the knife . . . As it had killed the painter, so it would kill the painter's work . . . He seized the thing, and stabbed the picture with it."

 "When they entered, they found hanging upon the wall a splendid portrait of their master as they had last seen him, in all the wonder of his exquisite youth and beauty. Lying on the floor was a dead man, in evening dress, with a knife in his heart. He was withered, wrinkled, and loathsome of visage. It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognized who it was."