Thornton notes that "the rage of Caliban at not seeing his face in a mirror" alludes to the preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), by the great fin de siècle Irish writer and wit Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). Wilde defines the two great movements in nineteenth century British (and French) literature in terms of the reactions of the reading populace: “The nineteenth century dislike of Realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass. / The nineteenth century dislike of Romanticism is the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass.”

JH 2011

Oscar Wilde, photograph taken in 1882 by Napoleon Sarony. Source: Wikimedia Commons.