Monday, August 03, 2015

4083 Dorian and the Dipshit

Monday, August 3, 2015

The first testicular guard, the "cup", was used in Hockey in 1874
and the first helmet was used in 1974.
That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.


Every once in a while I decide I have to read a classic I'd been avoiding.  I don't know why, I guess maybe I think it would be some kind of shame if I die without having read The House of the Seven Gables or something.  (I mention that particular book because I've started it at least five times, and I simply cannot get past the first two dozen pages.  It's mental anesthesia to me.  Brain death.)

So, a few days ago I came across a reference to Dorian Gray.  No one ever references "...Seven Gables", but people often mention Dorian's picture, and it happened to be one of those free downloads to my Kindle, and it's not so very long, so,....

I'd gotten only about 1/3 the way in when I realized I passionately hate Lord Henry.  I didn't want to read another observation from him.  He is the most supercilious asshole I've ever "met".  He judges everything and everyone, finds everything wanting even though he claims not to judge, purposely says exactly the opposite of what he thinks people expect him to say for no other reason than to disconcert people, claims to live only for beauty, but then sets out to destroy beauty wherever he finds it.  He is fascinated by the beauty and visible innocence of the young Dorian, so he sets out to debauch him, while claiming to adore him and teach him to live life fully.  I hate hate hate everything about Lord Henry.

Yeah, I know, this is supposed to be a philosophical novel, and ok, I could understand the philosophical aspects were they not espoused by one as odious as Lord Henry.  Wikipedia describes Lord Henry as an aesthete, a hedonist.  You know, he could have been a hedonistic aesthete without being an odious ... asshole.  Sorry, but that's the best I can do.  It fits.

So then Dorian develops an interest in precious and semi-precious stones, and we are treated to a bazillion pages of descriptions of stones.  Why?  In the pre-internet stone age, is Wilde trying to impress the reader with his knowledge?  That's the only reason I can think of for that.  If we were supposed to apply that to Dorian's state of mind, it could have been done much more directly and more interestingly.  We finally slog through all that, and Dorian discovers textiles and embroidery, and we get a bazillion pages of ....

I'm now no long reading, but just scanning pages.  I'm 65% of the way through and I'm determined to finish,

... although I don't have the faintest idea why.

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