Colloques & Conferences de l'Universite Lyon 2, "Rewriting / Reprising" - La reprise en litterature

From The Picture of Dorian Gray to Dorian: An Imitation rending, mending and ending

paccaud-huguet josiane, ramel annie

Dernière modification: 2007-06-27


Ramel, Annie et Paccaud-Huguet, Josiane (2006) From The Picture of Dorian Gray to Dorian: An Imitation rending, mending and ending. In: Colloque "Rewriting / Reprising - La reprise en litterature, 13-14 octobre 2006, Lyon, France. (Non Publie)

In The Picture of Dorian Gray, reality has properties similar to those of a Moebius strip: we believe the narrative is structured by binary oppositions, between the beauty of Dorian and the horrible defacement of the picture, between the golden side and the grey side. Yet the horror is contiguous to the beauty. The relation between them is not a relation of surface to depth, not a matter of metaphor / repression, but of metonymy / proximity. Such a relation is made manifest by the anamorphic gaze, which prevails whenever Dorian looks awry to compare the decaying picture with his image in the mirror. Thus the whole novel is pervaded with an aesthetics of deformity, as though the pictures we are shown resulted from some kind of optical distorsion. At the end the symbolic fabric of Dorian's reality is mended by the restoration of the paternal metaphor. Space is reorganized so that the distinction between above and below, surface and depth, is again fully valid-- so that the relation reality / real can again be a matter of metaphor / repression. What then is Will Self's own way of mending the fabric in Dorian ? No symbolic law is restored at the end of the novel, so how does Will Self manage to cut the fantasy short?

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