text, into its language and literary artistry. This was usually done through question and answer and the use of interpretation and generalization. I can exemplify this practice in a very brief summary while focusing on an excerpt from Chapter I of the novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde. It is the episode in which the painter, Basil Hallward, accidentally introduces Dorian Gray to Lord Henry while appreciating the portrait he had painted and opening up somewhat about himself:
It is better not to be different from one’s fellows. The ugly and the stupid have the best of it in this world. /…/ They neither bring ruin upon others, nor ever receive it from alien hands. Your rank and wealth, Harry, my brains, such as they are – my art, whatever it may be worth, Dorian Gray’s good looks – we shall all suffer for what the gods have given us, suffer terribly.”
“Dorian Gray? Is that his name?” asked Lord Henry, walking across the studio towards Basil Hallward.
“Yes, that is his name. I didn’t intend to tell it to you.”
“But why not?’
“Oh, I can’t explain. When I like people immensely I never tell their names to anyone. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvelous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it. When I leave town now I never tell my people where I am going. If I did, I should lose all my pleasure. It is a silly habit, I daresay, but somehow it seems to bring a great deal of romance into one’s life. I suppose you think me awfully foolish about it?”
“Not at all,” answered Lord Henry, “not at all, my dear Basil. You seem to forget that I am married, and the one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties. I never know where my wife is, and my wife never knows what I am doing. When we meet – we do meet occasionally, when we dine out together, or go down to the Duke’s – we tell each other the most absurd stories with the most serious faces. My wife is very good at it – much better, in fact, than I am. She never gets confused over the dates, and I always do. But when she does find me out, she makes no row at all. I sometimes wish she would; but she merely laughs at me.”
“I hate the way you talk about your married life, Harry,” said Basil Hallward, strolling towards the door that led in to the garden. “I believe that you are really a very good husband, but that you are thoroughly ashamed of your own virtues. You are an extraordinary fellow. You never say a moral thing, and you never do a wrong thing. Your cynicism is simply a pose.”
“Being natural is simply a pose, and the most irritating pose I know,” cried Lord Henry, laughing; and the two young men went out into the garden together, and ensconced themselves on a long bamboo seat that stood in the shade of a tall laurel bush. The sunlight slipped over the polished leaves. In the grass, white daisies were tremulous.
After a pause, Lord Henry pulled out his watch. “I am afraid I must be going, Basil,” he murmured, “and before I go, I insist on your answering a question I put to you some time ago.”