Ben Barnes in the 2009 British film adaption, Dorian Gray.
A version of the classic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray has been published that includes homoerotic elements that were edited out more than 130 years ago, reports The Guardian.
The book, by iconic gay playwright Oscar Wilde, tells the story of a young Victorian man who lives a decadent life but never ages except in his hidden portrait. It has been made into numerous films over the years.
The original manuscript had passages and lines removed or altered by Wilde’s editor because they were considered too risquÃ© for the time.
The deleted sections include making the homoerotic feelings that artist Basil Hallward has for Dorian Gray more obvious as well as accentuating elements of Gray’s own homosexuality.
The newspaper cited an example of the original text, in which Hallward tells Gray: “It is quite true I have worshipped you with far more romance of feeling than a man should ever give to a friend. Somehow I have never loved a woman.”
This was changed to:”From the moment I met you, your personality had the most extraordinary influence over me”.
Despite the cuts, the book was still condemned as “vulgar”, “unclean”, “poisonous” and “discreditable” when it was published.
Nicholas Frankel, editor of the new edition, said: “the time is ripe for the publication of Wilde’s novel in its uncensored form … It is the version of the novel that Wilde, I believe, would want us to be reading in the 21st century … I’m bringing it out of the closet a little more.”
The edition is published by Harvard University Press.