“Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working through generations, and leading to the most outre results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable.”—
The Franz Liszt painting that is on SEEMINGLY EVERY Dorian Gray cover (and was seemingly the basis of the look of the Ben Barnes Dorian) is the bane of my existence. I wouldn't mind so much if it was just an appearance thing, but Dorian is meant to be not just beautiful but innocent-looking, because it belies his moral degradation and, because people trust in the veracity of appearances, conceals it from the world. Like, so much of that book is about the disconnect between appearance and reality that making Dorian a smouldering Byronic vampire makes no thematic SENSE. You can't live a double life if you're ADVERTISING it. /litgeek rant
But, um, yes. I liked your cover a lot, because a) it doesn't show the painting and b) GREEN CARNATIONS, I danced in my chair with queer-history-nerd joy. But I do agree with what you said about attempting to draw Dorian...
Also: have you read E. W. Hornung's Raffles series? I feel like you'd appreciate it.
Thank you! And, no I haven’t read it, I will check it out! I love book recs.
It’s fun seeing other people are also passionate about Dorian Gray book covers.
I also have seen soooo many horrible Dorian Gray covers. The copy I have looks like this: http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k247/ecpenguin/Online%20Selling/ThePictureofDorianGray-FrontCover.jpg?t=1264038816
Which is nice, but still, look at that guy. He's not Dorian Gray. He's very handsome, and I love the portrait, but yeah... not right.
I hope it’s not dick of me to say, but I think to make a good Dorian Gray cover you need some queer sensibilities… and so many covers I’m like “That is the straightest cover I have ever seen wut.” The artist should drool over Dorian the way Lord Henry or Basil did.