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Illustrer The Picture of Dorian Gray : les paradoxes de la représentation

Abstract : The Picture of Dorian Gray can be read as the story of a portrait that defies representation. Yet the novel has repeatedly been illustrated. This article examines the modalities and the stakes of illustration through the analysis of images taken from three illustrated editions of The Picture of Dorian Gray: two British editions (Henry Keen, 1925, and Michael Ayrton, 1948) and a recent French edition (Tony Ross, 2000). Illustrating The Picture of Dorian Gray can be seen as an attempt to picture what is unsaid or unsayable in Wilde’s text: the illustrations reflect the artists’ fantasies and thus offer a mise en abyme of the reading process. The transposition from text to image is also achieved through the prism of aesthetic references and ideological constructs. Finally, analysing the illustrations of The Picture of Dorian Gray leads us to work on the inscription of time within the frame of images. From a diachronic point of view, the various illustrated versions offer a changing image of the novel: what often lies hidden behind them is a portrait of Oscar Wilde.
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Xavier Giudicelli. Illustrer The Picture of Dorian Gray : les paradoxes de la représentation. Etudes Anglaises, Klincksieck, 2009, 62 (1), pp.28-41. ⟨10.3917/etan.621.0028⟩. ⟨hal-02523327⟩

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