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.