Chapter ID: CBB207341935

Immoral Science in The Picture of Dorian Gray (2017)


Moving from the body’s relationship with the external world to its internal biological functions, Suzanne Raitt contextualizes Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray within the scientific discourse on the operations of cell metabolism and division that repairs the waste of the body’s natural processes. By foregrounding the novel’s considerable engagement with science, Raitt shows how the novel operates as a dark fantasy about the possibility of art substituting for the natural limits of biological processes, and, like those processes, inevitably failing. The picture, then, is not only an aesthetic image of moral repression, but even more universally the literalization of the inexorable biological progress toward death. (From Introduction, page 10)

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Book Lara Pauline Karpenko; Shalyn Rae Claggett (2016) Strange Science: Investigating the Limits of Knowledge in the Victorian Age. unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Hanley, James G.
Spence, Christine
Razzell, Peter E.
Otis, Laura
Blumenthal, Stanley A.
Gorsky, Martin
Social History of Medicine
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Medical History
Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
Journal of the History of Sexuality
Victorian Literature and Culture
Open University (United Kingdom)
Duke University
UCL Press
Bodleian Library
University of Virginia Press
University of Chicago Press
Science and art
Science and literature
Cellular biology
Wilde, Oscar
Darwin, Charles Robert
Chadwick, Edwin
Sutherland, Earl W.
Pander, Christian Heinrich
Wolff, Caspar Friedrich
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
20th century
20th century, late
20th century, early
Great Britain
London (England)
Oxford University Museum of Natural History
Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons

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