Laura Gonzalez


17 Aug 2013

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde***

Reading dates: 07 July 2013 – 17 August 2013

When I revealed to Neil that I was not enjoying The Picture of Dorian Gray , but could not articulate clearly why, he referred to all my book reviews and rating, exploring the 5* to see what the patters was: books by or about strong women, which The Picture of Dorian Gray is not an example. I am not sure how I feel about the revelation of what my unconscious likes. Part of me is shattered at the fact that I would chose something so predictable as strong women over simply a good book. Yet, part of me sees it as natural, an activist position, a duty. I guess I like what I like and I found Dorian Gray too moral. Don’t get me wrong, it is delightful in parts, and very original and interesting, but it is patchy, it did not carry me (in fact, I carried it). I want to be swept away by books, become obsessed, change the way I do things and Dorian Gray was one of those I had to get through, like Dracula, but much better written, which is why it gets a star more.

I had lengthy discussions with Neil about the book while I was reading it. And it all came down to the fact that he is right and I am wrong: my dislike is a matter of taste, whereas his admiration is one of the book itself. Read his wonderful article. I should follow better Mrs Hawkins advice to consider the text only, when making a judgement about a book. This avowal of my partial view of certain books made me consider the question of why I read. I do not yet have an answer.

Posted in Blog, Book Reviews, Reading

2 Responses to “The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde***”

  1. Michael said:

    I think Neal’s analysis might be right. Often it is the very clear and simple things that drive us and empower us. You might like the Miyasaki films. They all are about strong women.

  2. Laura Gonzalez said:

    I know his analysis is right. I just was shocked to discover why mine was not … I will look at the Miyasaki films. I am embracing my rampant subjective feminism. Thanks Michael!

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About Me

I am an artist and writer. My recent practice performance, film, dance, photography and text, and my work has been performed, exhibited and published in many venues in Europe and the US. I have spoken at numerous conferences and events, including the Museum for the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, the Medical Museum in Copenhagen, College Arts Association and the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society. When I am not following Freud, Lacan and Marx’s footsteps with my camera or creating performance works as part of my Athenaeum Research Fellowship at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, I teach postgraduate students at Transart Institute.

I am currently immersed in an interdisciplinary project exploring knowledge and the body of the hysteric. In 2013, together with Child and Adolescent Mental Health practitioner Frances Davies, I co-edited the book ‘Madness, Women and the Power of Art’, to which I contributed a work authored with Eleanor Bowen. My book ‘Make Me Yours: How Art Seduces’ was published by Cambridge Scholars in 2016. In this text, investigates psychoanalytic approaches to making and understanding objects of seduction, including an examination of parallels between artistic and analytic practices, a study of Manolo Blahnik’s shoes as objects of desire, a disturbing encounter with Marcel Duchamp’s last work, and the creation of a psychoanalytically inspired Discourse of the Artefact, a framework enabling the circulation of questions and answers through a relational approach to artworks.