the portrait

I knew that I had come face to face with someone whose mere personality was so fascinating that, if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole nature, my whole soul, my very art itself.

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful.

For there would be a real pleasure in watching it. He would be able to follow his mind into its secret places. This portrait would be to him the most magical of mirrors. As it had revealed to him his own body, so it would reveal to him his own soul.

Images:
© Madison Gerritsen

Text: From The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. The work first appeared in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine in 1890, and it was revised and published as a novel the following year.

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