Post-1900 works which link to Dorian Gray? (NEA)

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MJ1148
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Hey guys,

Was wondering if anyone knows of any post-1900 books/plays/poems which have similar themes to The Picture of Dorian Gray, for use in my English Lit NEA. I was recommended to read The Wasp Factory (Iain Banks) but right now I’m not really enjoying it and I don’t see how it links to Dorian apart from the gothic elements. Any suggestions would be appreciated, especially books/plays (although I can’t do anything else by Oscar Wilde). Thanks!
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MJ1148
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BogdanK
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It might be a good idea to read Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. There are many similarities in both and both criticize the application of an aesthetic mindset to real-life situations. Lolita is a book about a 40 year-old man who enters a sexual relationship with a 13 year-old girl. He portrays the love as being heavily entrenched in self-formulated aesthetic principles placing young girls, or “nymphets”, at the height of aesthetic consideration. Both novels concern themselves with the idea of beauty for the sake of beauty and art for the sake of art, showing how such a mindset is often incongruous in the real-world.
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BogdanK
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Another great work to look at might be “A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess. This might be even better than Lolita (also very controversial). It concerns itself with the attempt to behaviourally condition a young hoodlum - Alex - who, for fun, commits murder, rape, theft, etc. with his gang of friends. One important aspect of the book is the prevalence, amid all this debouch, of high culture. Alex (the narrator and protagonist) is constantly listening to Beethoven, Bach and Handel while fantasizing (and doing) all these horrible things. The connection between the two is a certain romantic perspective in horrible deeds. Both Dorian and Alex are obsessed with their own immoral aspects and have something of a fetish towards such things. An interesting contrast however is Dorian’s varying outlook on his immoral life self, sometimes endeavouring to corrupt himself as much as possible at other times chagrining. Alex, in the other hand, shows two mindsets - one of sheer childish pleasure in the face of violence and havoc, the other of biologically conditioned disgust.
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