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Trivia / The Picture of Dorian Gray

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The novel

  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: A lot of people think the title is The Portrait of Dorian Grey, perhaps because a picture can incorrectly be understood as a photograph while portrait is less ambiguously a painting, and the word for the color gray is spelled grey in British English. Wilde actually did write an unrelated short story called "The Portrait of Mr. W.H."note 
  • Bowdlerise: So, so often in the publishing history. First, the typescript Wilde wrote was toned down for the magazine publication (without Wilde having a chance to proof read it). It was still considered too risque for some book sellers to have this magazine edition on their shelves though. Then, when the novel publication rolled around Wilde himself changed several aspects of the novel (probably to avoid possible inquiries about his sex life); for instance he took great pains to make Dorian more monstrous than in the magazine version and took out a good bunch of the homoeroticism that was left. (the magazine editor himself already had taken a good ton of allusions out before). The result is the version usually found in bookshelves. Now to put this into perspective - this "purged edition" was used as evidence in Wilde's trial against him. (If you're curious how the original version reads, rejoice. The uncensored version was first published in 2011.)
  • Playing Against Type: A horror story, from Oscar Wilde.
  • Referenced by...:
    • James Blunt's Tears and Rain states that he hides his true nature, "Like Dorian Gray."
    • One Far Side strip is captioned "The picture of Dorian Gray and his dog", showing a dog just as grumpy and wrinkled as its oner (the real ones are playing fetch outside).
  • Trope Namer;
  • Write Who You Know: Oscar Wilde claimed in his introduction to the novel that the characters are all him.
    Oscar Wilde: Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be.