Robert McCrum talks to Will Self
“Observer: What’s the relationship of Dorian to The Picture of Dorian Gray?
Will Self: It’s an imitation – and a homage. As a complete and professed rewrite of a classic, I think it’s unique. The Picture of Dorian Gray is the prophecy and Dorian is the fulfilment.
Obs: What gave you the idea?
WS: The idea came through the suggestion that I adapt Wilde’s Dorian Gray as a film. The minute I started looking at Wilde’s original, this idea came unbidden. I’d never have approached the idea of doing it as a novel, I approached it as the idea of doing a screen adaptation, and when the screen adaptation ran into the sand, through my own inability to complete it, I decided the only way to get the thing out was to turn it back into prose.”