Oscar Wilde's modern fairy tale repudiates the concept of "the banality of evil." It mirrors Hawthorne's masterpiece, "Rappaccini's Daughter," by creating a world of poisonous and inescapable beauty, and it prefigures the atmosphere of Hilton's Shangri-La where the perpetuity of agelessness and beauty require isolation from the outside world.
Everyone knows the stories of Dorian Gray and his exquisite, doomed creator. I do not need to elaborate on the perfect and paradoxical prose, or the sweet and foul decadence of Dorian's world. Even as the downfall of Oscar Wilde at the hands of his true love's father always has horrified and appalled me, I have revered Wilde for refusing to abandon or deny his love for Lord Alfred Douglas, his Bosie. Would that the prejudices that informed that hideous episode existed no longer!
As I read the novel, the opulence and hint of decay so beautifully depicted in the 1997 film "Wilde," combined with the voice of Peter Egan, who portrayed Wilde in the British production, "Lillie." The effect, I assure you, was delicious.