Since many of you liked my node entry called 'There's a story behind it', I give you another example of prose art that utilizes the Delete Method. This was also written in 1994, and it is an abridged and strange version of The picture of Dorian Gray (the famous book by Oscar Wilde). The short story is in two parts, a scene at the tree top, and a conversation called 'society in disguise'. I really enjoyed creating these texts, and I hope you like reading them (and wondering about their meaning).
A Scene at the tree top
The studio was filled with roses, and stirred amidst the trees of the
garden, there came through the open door H. Woon whose tremulous branches
seemed hardly able to bear the fantastic shadows of birds in flight. In the
centre of the room an upright easel, the full-length man of ordinary
personal beauty, Bas Halard, whose appearance some years ago gave rise to
the gracious and comely form he had so skilfully mirrored in his smile. But
he suddenly placed his fingers on to the Grosvenor. The Academy is too
large and too vulgar the pictures, which was dreadful. The Grosvenor is
really at Oxford. No, I won't send it anywhere. His eyebrows through the
thin blue wreaths of smoke curled up in such fanciful whorls from his
cigarette. Any reason? What odd chaps you are! You do anything in the world
to gain a reputation. As soon as you want to throw it away, it is not being
talked about. A portrait would make the old men quite jealous, if old men
are an emotion. "I know you replied, but it is quite true, all the same."
Upon my Basil, I really can't see a rugged strong face who looks as if he
is an intellectual and all that. But expression begins in itself. The
harmony of any face. The moment one sits down to think. All nose, or all
forehead, or something horrid. The learned professions, how they are in the
Church, don't think. When he was a boy of eighteen, absolutely delightful.
Never think. I feel quite brainless in winter when we want something to
chill Basil. Not! "You, Harry, artist, not like him. I know that indeed,
sorry." You shrug about--all physical faltering is better from one's
fellows. The ugly world can sit at the play. If defeat lives indifferent
without ruin, never receive rank and wealth, Hary, my brains, such as they
are--we shall all suffer suffer terribly.
Society in Disguise
"Doray? Is that Lenry?"
"The Studio that is his name."
"I didn't intend to explain. When I name any one it is like the commonest
thing, when I tell my people all my pleasure. It is a silly romance,
"Lord! You seem married, and life, absolutely necessary, is very good--much
better, in fact, than I am. Find me out, make no row. I wish she laughs
at me." The way your married life led into the garden. A very good
husband, but thoroughly ashamed of virtue, a moral thing, never cynicism; a
"Being the most irritating Lord that stood in the shade of a tall laurel
bush, I am afraid I insist on a question to you."
"What?" said Pound.
"You know Harry?"
"Well, I want you to explain to me why you exhibit Dorray. The real
"That is childish, Hary, every feeling is accident, the occasion
revealed by reason... This picture is shown in secret perplexity."
"I am Expectation Basil, the painter, I am afraid you will hardly
understand it. Perhaps you smile? Examine it."
"I am quite sure I shall understand it." he replied, gazing intently at
things. "I can believe the wind shook some blossoms from the clustering
stars, and a long thin dragon on its brown gauze wings, heart beating,
at Lady Brandon's."
"You know society can gain a reputation for about ten minutes,
talking to huge overdressed dowagers and tedious Dorray, growing
a curious sensation of mere external influence in my life. You know Hary,
always my own master; at least Dorian Gray seemed to tell me that I was
on the verge of a terrible crisis in my life. A strange feeling, fate,
joys, sorrows. Room! Conscience made cowardice. Escape."
"Conscience? Cowardice? The trade-name of the firm, believe that, Hary,
and don't believe either my motive--pride, struggle of course, her
curiously shrill voice. Yes."
"She is beauty," said Henry with his long nervous fingers.