Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Oscar Wilde and Phrenology

::Urban Outfitters Phrenology Head

Have you been reading The Picture of Dorian Gray along with me? I've read the book a few times now, so I'm amazed that I never noticed the connection between the mysteriously-aging portrait and the very popular Victorian pseudo-science of phrenology. The Victorians believed that the character of a person could be deduced from the shape of their skull, as well as the features of the face. As Dorian's soul becomes more and more corrupt and he commits more misdeeds, the portrait becomes uglier and uglier [the idea being that if things had worked naturally and the strange curse not come true, Dorian himself would have grown more hideous with time]...

It kind of makes me want to rush out and buy this phrenology head from Urban Outfitters to add to my small collection of curiosities. I think he would look rather handsome perched atop my bookshelf!


ana b. said...

I think that'd be a great buy! I want one too. I want to read Dorian Gray before the movie comes out. I'm really interested. I remember trying to read it when I was younger and completely not getting it.

{Tara} said...

Ana -- You should! It is a surprisingly quick and fun read. It looks as if they took some liberties with the film, but it looks fun nonetheless!