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About “Dorian Gray”

December 4, 2009

The passportIn Ovid’s Metamorphoses, three goddesses visit the new-born hero Meleager and give him a lifespan as long as that of a log that is burning on the hearth. His mother seizes the log, pours water on it, and hides it safely away. Many years later, angered by his crimes, she makes a bonfire and throws the log onto it.

The “external soul” has been a part of mythologies since human beings began to think and to tell stories, and in parts of the world it still is. It was a sign of Oscar Wilde’s genius that he was the first person to add a moral dimension. No-one before Wilde had come up with an object that is not only tied to a man’s life but shows, visibly, the state of his soul.

I am not Dorian Gray. My passport photograph does not change (or perhaps I am just too dreadfully good) — and when the cover designer tore it up so that she could illustrate the cover, I didn’t feel the slightest twinge.

My “Dorian Gray” story is faster and much lighter than Wilde’s: a social comedy, in fact. The action takes place within less than 24 hours. It’s told from the point of view of a woman — intelligent, predatory, but inexperienced — who starts to suspect who her skiing companion might be, and discovers the truth by destroying his photograph.

Read the story when it appears on this blog next Monday. But why wait? Christmas is coming soon and the book is out already, so buy it now, for yourself and your friends!

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