Edited by Joseph Pearce
In true Faustian tradition The Picture of Dorian Gray tells the tale of a young man who sells his soul to the devil in return for youthful immortality, only to discover that the "devil's bargain" is no bargain at all. "What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" When Dorian Gray is asked this question he knows the answer. He has learned his lesson the hard way and has destroyed the lives of others into the bargain. The moral is inescapable, making The Picture of Dorian Gray more than merely a classic of Victorian literature. It is a classic of Christian literature also. This edition of Wilde's novel is edited by Joseph Pearce, author of The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde, and contains critical essays that look at the work from a tradition-oriented perspective.
The Ignatius Critical Editions represent a tradition-oriented alternative to popular textbook series such as the Norton Critical Editions or Oxford World Classics, and are designed to concentrate on traditional readings of the Classics of world literature. Whereas many modern critical editions have succumbed to the fads of modernism and post-modernism, this series will concentrate on tradition-oriented criticism of these great works. Edited by acclaimed literary biographer, Joseph Pearce, the Ignatius Critical Editions will ensure that traditional moral readings of the works are given prominence, instead of the feminist, or deconstructionist readings that often proliferate in other series of 'critical editions'. As such, they represent a genuine extension of consumer-choice, enabling educators, students and lovers of good literature to buy editions of classic literary works without having to 'buy into' the ideologies of secular fundamentalism. The series is particularly aimed at tradition-minded literature professors offering them an alternative for their students. The initial list will have about 15 - 20 titles. The goal is to release three books a season, or six in a year.
"Critical editions that treat great books as though they were a living part of the great tradition. It’s a sad commentary on our times that this should seem an innovation. Still, at least it has allowed Ignatius Press to offer this important series. Students and scholars will be forever grateful."
—Joseph Bottum, First Things.
"To step out of the assumptions of one's own time and place; to understand the literary classic with the mind and heart of the author requires such a breadth of understanding and grasp of history and tradition that few publishers attempt it and fewer still succeed at it. Ignatius Critical Editions, edited by Joseph Pearce, has succeeded admirably."
—Patrick S.J. Carmack, President, Great Books Academy, Great Books Program, and the Angelicum Academy
"The real battle for America’s soul is not waged in legislative halls but in lecture halls. Congratulations to the courageous souls at Ignatius Press for firing off what is nothing less than a direct hit in the culture war. For too long, the Western Canon has been co-opted by those who, in fact, hate the West and the three things for which she stands: the good, the beautiful, and the true. These magnificent editions, edited by a scholar who loves all three, belong on the shelves of every campus bookstore, every high-school classroom, and every home school."
—Christopher Check, Executive Vice President, The Rockford Institute
"The Ignatius Critical Editions are a smart and long overdue response to the literary hijacking of the classics. Three cheers for Joseph Pearce and Ignatius Press!"
— Chris Michalski, ISI Books, Imprint of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute
"For many years I've avoided recent "critical" editions, stuffed and padded as they are with political faddists and special interest hacks. What a delight to find an edition of a work of literary art treated with the reverence, the critical tact, and the wonder its beauty and wisdom demand!"
—Anthony Esolen, Ph.D.,Professor of Renaissance English, Providence College