The latest classic that I’ve read is Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. I’m sure most people know this story – a man stays young while his portrait ages. What’s really fascinating about it, though, is the psychological study of an exceptionally attractive and innocent youth who comes under a bad influence and grows to be a corrupt and despicable person.
The bad influence, Lord Henry, is an interesting character also. He is full of “wise” advice. He speaks in platitudes that actually sound good and very quotable. They have a tempting ring of truth even though they actually represent a perfectly despicable outlook on life. I think that’s what makes this book a work of genius. Wilde made evil sound good and showed us how temptation happens.