There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all
– Oscar Wilde
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Preface. Wilde’s novel when first published in 1890 was criticized as scandalous and immoral. The review in London’s Daily Chronicle blasted it as "a poisonous book, the atmosphere of which is heavy with the mephitic odours of moral and spiritual putrefaction." In the preface, which was added to a revised edition of the novel in 1891, Wilde argued that books were neither moral nor immoral, but well or badly written. In other words, art does not instruct and has no effect, other than aesthetic, on people or society.