Oscar

Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray

Übersetzt von Hedwig Lachmann und Gustav Landauer
Synchronisation und Ergänzungen © Doppeltext 2012

TITELBLATT

THE PREFACE

CHAPTER I

CHAPTER II

CHAPTER III

CHAPTER IV

CHAPTER V

CHAPTER VI

CHAPTER VII

CHAPTER VIII

CHAPTER IX

CHAPTER X

CHAPTER XI

CHAPTER XII

CHAPTER XIII

CHAPTER XIV

CHAPTER XV

CHAPTER XVI

CHAPTER XVII

CHAPTER XVIII

CHAPTER XIX

CHAPTER XX

IMPRESSUM

THE PREFACE

The artist is the cre­at­or of beau­ti­ful things.
To re­veal art and con­ceal the artist is art’s aim.
The crit­ic is he who can trans­late into an­oth­er man­ner or a new ma­ter­i­al his im­pres­sion of beau­ti­ful things.
The highest, as the low­est, form of cri­ti­cism is a mode of auto­bi­o­graphy.
Those who find ugly mean­ings in beau­ti­ful things are cor­rupt without be­ing charm­ing. This is a fault.
Those who find beau­ti­ful mean­ings in beau­ti­ful things are the cul­tiv­ated. For these there is hope.
They are the elect to whom beau­ti­ful things mean only Beauty.
There is no such thing as a mor­al or an im­mor­al book. Books are well writ­ten, or badly writ­ten. That is all.
The nine­teenth cen­tury dis­like of Real­ism is the rage of Caliban see­ing his own face in a glass.
The nine­teenth cen­tury dis­like of Ro­man­ti­cism is the rage of Caliban not see­ing his own face in a glass.
The mor­al life of man forms part of the sub­ject-mat­ter of the artist,
but the mor­al­ity of art con­sists in the per­fect use of an im­per­fect me­di­um.
No artist de­sires to prove any­thing. Even things that are true can be proved.
No artist has eth­ic­al sym­path­ies. An eth­ic­al sym­pathy in an artist is an un­par­don­able man­ner­ism of style.
No artist is ever mor­bid. The artist can ex­press everything.
Thought and lan­guage are to the artist in­stru­ments of an art.
Vice and vir­tue are to the artist ma­ter­i­als for an art.
From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is the art of the mu­si­cian.
From the point of view of feel­ing, the act­or’s craft is the type.
All art is at once sur­face and sym­bol. Those who go be­neath the sur­face do so at their per­il.
Those who read the sym­bol do so at their per­il.
It is the spec­tat­or, and not life, that art really mir­rors.
Di­versity of opin­ion about a work of art shows that the work is new, com­plex, and vi­tal.
When crit­ics dis­agree the artist is in ac­cord with him­self.
We can for­give a man for mak­ing a use­ful thing as long as he does not ad­mire it.
The only ex­cuse for mak­ing a use­less thing is that one ad­mires it in­tensely.
All art is quite use­less.
Oscar Wilde

CHAPTER I

The stu­dio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light sum­mer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden,
there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more del­ic­ate per­fume of the pink-flower­ing thorn.
From the corner of the di­van of Per­sian saddle­bags on which he was ly­ing, smoking, as was his cus­tom, in­nu­mer­able ci­gar­ettes,
Lord Henry Wot­ton could just catch the gleam of the honey-sweet and honey-col­oured blos­soms of a laburnum,
whose trem­u­lous branches seemed hardly able to bear the bur­den of a beauty so flame-like as theirs;
and now and then the fant­ast­ic shad­ows of birds in flight flit­ted across the long tussore-silk cur­tains that were stretched in front of the huge win­dow,
pro­du­cing a kind of mo­ment­ary Ja­pan­ese ef­fect, and mak­ing him think of those pal­lid jade-faced paint­ers of Tokio
who, through the me­di­um of an art that is ne­ces­sar­ily im­mob­ile, seek to con­vey the sense of swift­ness and mo­tion.
The sul­len mur­mur of the bees shoul­der­ing their way through the long un­mown grass,
or circ­ling with mono­ton­ous in­sist­ence round the dusty gilt horns of the strag­gling wood­bine,
seemed to make the still­ness more op­press­ive. The dim roar of Lon­don was like the bour­don note of a dis­tant or­gan.
In the centre of the room, clamped to an up­right easel, stood the full-length por­trait of a young man of ex­traordin­ary per­son­al beauty,
and in front of it, some little dis­tance away, was sit­ting the artist him­self, Basil Hall­ward,
whose sud­den dis­ap­pear­ance some years ago caused, at the time, such pub­lic ex­cite­ment, and gave rise to so many strange con­jec­tures.
As the paint­er looked at the gra­cious and comely form he had so skil­fully mirrored in his art,
a smile of pleas­ure passed across his face, and seemed about to linger there.
But he sud­denly star­ted up, and, clos­ing his eyes, placed his fin­gers upon the lids,
as though he sought to im­pris­on with­in his brain some curi­ous dream from which he feared he might awake.
“It is your best work, Basil, the best thing you have ever done,” said Lord Henry, lan­guidly.
“You must cer­tainly send it next year to the Gros­ven­or. The Academy is too large and too vul­gar.
Whenev­er I have gone there, there have been either so many people that I have not been able to see the pic­tures, which was dread­ful,
or so many pic­tures that I have not been able to see the people, which was worse. The Gros­ven­or is really the only place.”
“I don’t think I shall send it any­where,”
he answered, toss­ing his head back in that odd way that used to make his friends laugh at him at Ox­ford.
“No: I won’t send it any­where.”
Lord Henry el­ev­ated his eye­brows, and looked at him in amazement through the thin blue wreaths of smoke
that curled up in such fanci­ful whorls from his heavy opi­um-tain­ted ci­gar­ette.
“Not send it any­where? My dear fel­low, why? Have you any reas­on?
What odd chaps you paint­ers are! You do any­thing in the world to gain a repu­ta­tion.
As soon as you have one, you seem to want to throw it away.
It is silly of you, for there is only one thing in the world
worse than be­ing talked about, and that is not be­ing talked about.
A por­trait like this would set you far above all the young men in Eng­land,
and make the old men quite jeal­ous, if old men are ever cap­able of any emo­tion.”
“I know you will laugh at me,” he replied, “but I really can’t ex­hib­it it. I have put too much of my­self into it.”
Lord Henry stretched him­self out on the di­van and laughed.
“Yes, I knew you would; but it is quite true, all the same.”
“Too much of your­self in it! Upon my word, Basil, I didn’t know you were so vain;
and I really can’t see any re­semb­lance between you, with your rugged strong face and your coal-black hair,
and this young Ad­onis, who looks as if he was made out of ivory and rose-leaves.
Why, my dear Basil, he is a Nar­cissus, and you — well, of course you have an in­tel­lec­tu­al ex­pres­sion, and all that.
But beauty, real beauty, ends where an in­tel­lec­tu­al ex­pres­sion be­gins.
In­tel­lect is in it­self a mode of ex­ag­ger­a­tion, and des­troys the har­mony of any face.
The mo­ment one sits down to think, one be­comes all nose, or all fore­head, or something hor­rid.
Look at the suc­cess­ful men in any of the learned pro­fes­sions.
How per­fectly hideous they are! Ex­cept, of course, in the Church. But then in the Church they don’t think.
A bish­op keeps on say­ing at the age of eighty what he was told to say
when he was a boy of eight­een, and as a nat­ur­al con­sequence he al­ways looks ab­so­lutely de­light­ful.
Your mys­ter­i­ous young friend, whose name you have nev­er told me, but whose pic­ture really fas­cin­ates me, nev­er thinks. I feel quite sure of that.
He is some brain­less, beau­ti­ful creature, who should be al­ways here in winter
when we have no flowers to look at, and al­ways here in sum­mer when we want something to chill our in­tel­li­gence.
Don’t flat­ter your­self, Basil: you are not in the least like him.”
“You don’t un­der­stand me, Harry,” answered the artist. “Of course I am not like him. I know that per­fectly well.
In­deed, I should be sorry to look like him. You shrug your shoulders? I am telling you the truth.
There is a fatal­ity about all phys­ic­al and in­tel­lec­tu­al dis­tinc­tion, the sort of fatal­ity
that seems to dog through his­tory the fal­ter­ing steps of kings.
It is bet­ter not to be dif­fer­ent from one’s fel­lows.
The ugly and the stu­pid have the best of it in this world. They can sit at their ease and gape at the play.
If they know noth­ing of vic­tory, they are at least spared the know­ledge of de­feat.
They live as we all should live, un­dis­turbed, in­dif­fer­ent, and without dis­quiet.
They neither bring ruin upon oth­ers, nor ever re­ceive it from ali­en hands.
Your rank and wealth, Harry; my brains, such as they are — my art, whatever it may be worth; Dori­an Gray’s good looks
— we shall all suf­fer for what the gods have giv­en us, suf­fer ter­ribly.”
“Dori­an Gray? Is that his name?” asked Lord Henry, walk­ing across the stu­dio to­wards Basil Hall­ward.
“Yes, that is his name. I didn’t in­tend to tell it to you.”
“But why not?”
“Oh, I can’t ex­plain. When I like people im­mensely I nev­er tell their names to any­one.
It is like sur­ren­der­ing a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy.
It seems to be the one thing that can make mod­ern life mys­ter­i­ous or mar­vel­lous to us.
The com­mon­est thing is de­light­ful if one only hides it.
When I leave town now I nev­er tell my people where I am go­ing. If I did, I would lose all my pleas­ure.
It is a silly habit, I daresay, but some­how it seems to bring a great deal of ro­mance into one’s life.
I sup­pose you think me aw­fully fool­ish about it?”
“Not at all,” answered Lord Henry, “not at all, my dear Basil.
You seem to for­get that I am mar­ried, and the one charm of mar­riage is
that it makes a life of de­cep­tion ab­so­lutely ne­ces­sary for both parties.
I nev­er know where my wife is, and my wife nev­er knows what I am do­ing.
When we meet — we do meet oc­ca­sion­ally, when we dine out to­geth­er, or go down to the Duke’s
— we tell each oth­er the most ab­surd stor­ies with the most ser­i­ous faces.
My wife is very good at it — much bet­ter, in fact, than I am. She nev­er gets con­fused over her dates, and I al­ways do.
But when she does find me out, she makes no row at all. I some­times wish she would; but she merely laughs at me.”
“I hate the way you talk about your mar­ried life, Harry,” said Basil Hall­ward, strolling to­wards the door that led into the garden.
“I be­lieve that you are really a very good hus­band, but that you are thor­oughly ashamed of your own vir­tues.
You are an ex­traordin­ary fel­low. You nev­er say a mor­al thing, and you nev­er do a wrong thing. Your cyn­icism is simply a pose.”
“Be­ing nat­ur­al is simply a pose, and the most ir­rit­at­ing pose I know,” cried Lord Henry, laugh­ing;
and the two young men went out into the garden to­geth­er,
and en­sconced them­selves on a long bam­boo seat that stood in the shade of a tall laurel bush.
The sun­light slipped over the pol­ished leaves. In the grass, white dais­ies were trem­u­lous.
After a pause, Lord Henry pulled out his watch. “I am afraid I must be go­ing, Basil,” he mur­mured, “and be­fore I go,
I in­sist on your an­swer­ing a ques­tion I put to you some time ago.”
“What is that?” said the paint­er, keep­ing his eyes fixed on the ground.
“You know quite well.”
“I do not, Harry.”
“Well, I will tell you what it is. I want you to ex­plain to me why you won’t ex­hib­it Dori­an Gray’s pic­ture. I want the real reas­on.”
“I told you the real reas­on.”
“No, you did not. You said it was be­cause there was too much of your­self in it. Now, that is child­ish.”
“Harry,” said Basil Hall­ward, look­ing him straight in the face, “every por­trait
that is painted with feel­ing is a por­trait of the artist, not of the sit­ter.
The sit­ter is merely the ac­ci­dent, the oc­ca­sion.
It is not he who is re­vealed by the paint­er; it is rather the paint­er who, on the col­oured can­vas, re­veals him­self.
The reas­on I will not ex­hib­it this pic­ture is that I am afraid that I have shown in it the secret of my own soul.”
Lord Henry laughed. “And what is that?” he asked.
“I will tell you,” said Hall­ward; but an ex­pres­sion of per­plex­ity came over his face.
“I am all ex­pect­a­tion, Basil,” con­tin­ued his com­pan­ion, glan­cing at him.
“Oh, there is really very little to tell, Harry,” answered the paint­er; “and I am afraid you will hardly un­der­stand it.
Per­haps you will hardly be­lieve it.”
Lord Henry smiled, and, lean­ing down, plucked a pink-pet­alled daisy from the grass, and ex­amined it.
“I am quite sure I shall un­der­stand it,” he replied, gaz­ing in­tently at the little golden white-feathered disk,
“and as for be­liev­ing things, I can be­lieve any­thing, provided that it is quite in­cred­ible.”
The wind shook some blos­soms from the trees, and the heavy lilac-blooms, with their clus­ter­ing stars, moved to and fro in the lan­guid air.
A grasshop­per began to chir­rup by the wall, and like a blue thread a long thin dragon-fly floated past on its brown gauze wings.
Lord Henry felt as if he could hear Basil Hall­ward’s heart beat­ing, and wondered what was com­ing.
“The story is simply this,” said the paint­er after some time. “Two months ago I went to a crush at Lady Brandon’s.
You know we poor artists have to show ourselves in so­ci­ety from time to time, just to re­mind the pub­lic that we are not sav­ages.
With an even­ing coat and a white tie, as you told me once, any­body, even a stock­broker, can gain a repu­ta­tion for be­ing civ­il­ised.
Well, after I had been in the room about ten minutes, talk­ing to huge over-dressed dow­agers
and te­di­ous Aca­dem­i­cians, I sud­denly be­came con­scious that someone was look­ing at me.
I turned halfway round, and saw Dori­an Gray for the first time.
When our eyes met, I felt that I was grow­ing pale. A curi­ous sen­sa­tion of ter­ror came over me.
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.
I did not want any ex­tern­al in­flu­ence in my life. You know your­self, Harry, how in­de­pend­ent I am by nature.
I have al­ways been my own mas­ter; had at least al­ways been so, till I met Dori­an Gray.
Then — but I don’t know how to ex­plain it to you. Something seemed to tell me that I was on the verge of a ter­rible crisis in my life.
I had a strange feel­ing that Fate had in store for me ex­quis­ite joys and ex­quis­ite sor­rows.
I grew afraid, and turned to quit the room. It was not con­science that made me do so; it was a sort of cow­ardice.
I take no cred­it to my­self for try­ing to es­cape.”
“Con­science and cow­ardice are really the same things, Basil. Con­science is the trade-name of the firm. That is all.”
“I don’t be­lieve that, Harry, and I don’t be­lieve you do either. However, whatever was my motive — and it may have been pride,
for I used to be very proud — I cer­tainly struggled to the door.
There, of course, I stumbled against Lady Brandon.
‘You are not go­ing to run away so soon, Mr. Hall­ward?’ she screamed out. You know her curi­ously shrill voice?”
“Yes; she is a pea­cock in everything but beauty,” said Lord Henry, pulling the daisy to bits with his long, nervous fin­gers.
“I could not get rid of her. She brought me up to Roy­al­ties, and people with Stars and Garters, and eld­erly ladles with gi­gant­ic tiaras and par­rot noses.
She spoke of me as her dearest friend. I had only met her once be­fore, but she took it into her head to li­on­ise me.
I be­lieve some pic­ture of mine had made a great suc­cess at the time,
at least had been chattered about in the penny news­pa­pers, which is the nine­teenth-cen­tury stand­ard of im­mor­tal­ity.
Sud­denly I found my­self face to face with the young man whose per­son­al­ity had so strangely stirred me.
We were quite close, al­most touch­ing. Our eyes met again.
It was reck­less of me, but I asked Lady Brandon to in­tro­duce me to him. Per­haps it was not so reck­less, after all.
It was simply in­ev­it­able. We would have spoken to each oth­er without any in­tro­duc­tion. I am sure of that.
Dori­an told me so af­ter­wards. He, too, felt that we were destined to know each oth­er.”

Oscar Wilde
The Picture of Dorian Gray / Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray
Zweisprachige Ausgabe
Übersetzt von Hedwig Lachmann und Gustav Landauer

Dies ist ein interaktives E-Book. Klicken Sie auf den Text, um die Übersetzung einzublenden.

Der Originaltext und die Übersetzung sind gemeinfrei. Die Rechte für die synchronisierte zweisprachige Ausgabe und für die von uns in der Übersetzung ergänzten Textpassagen liegen bei Doppeltext.

Unser Programm umfasst viele weitere zweisprachige Titel. Besuchen Sie www.doppeltext.com, um mehr zu erfahren.

Wir freuen uns auf Ihre Meinung und Kritik.

Doppeltext
Igor Kogan & Tatiana Zelenska
Karwendelstr. 25
D-81369 München
Tel. +49-89-76 75 55 34
www.doppeltext.com
info@doppeltext.com