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[THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] De Profundis (Latin: "from the depths") is a letter written by Oscar Wilde during his imprisonment in Reading Gaol, to "Bosie" (Lord Alfred Douglas). During its first half Wilde recounts their previous relationship and extravagant lifestyle which eventually led to Wild [THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] De Profundis (Latin: "from the depths") is a letter written by Oscar Wilde during his imprisonment in Reading Gaol, to "Bosie" (Lord Alfred Douglas). During its first half Wilde recounts their previous relationship and extravagant lifestyle which eventually led to Wilde's conviction and imprisonment for gross indecency. He indicts both Lord Alfred's vanity and his own weakness in acceding to those wishes. In the second half, Wilde charts his spiritual development in prison and identification with Jesus Christ, whom he characterises as a romantic, individualist artist. The letter began "Dear Bosie" and ended "Your Affectionate Friend". Wilde wrote the letter between January and March 1897, close to the end of his imprisonment. Contact had lapsed between Douglas and Wilde and the latter had suffered from his close supervision, physical labour and emotional isolation. Nelson, the new prison governor, thought that writing might be more cathartic than prison labour. He was not allowed to send the long letter which he was allowed to write "for medicinal purposes"; each page was taken away when completed, and only at the end could he read it over and make revisions. Nelson gave the long letter to him on his release on 18 May 1897. BONUS : • The Canterville Ghost Audiobook. • 10 Illustrations about Oscar Wilde ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: Rutilus classics publishes great works of literature at an affordable price. Our books have been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.


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[THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] De Profundis (Latin: "from the depths") is a letter written by Oscar Wilde during his imprisonment in Reading Gaol, to "Bosie" (Lord Alfred Douglas). During its first half Wilde recounts their previous relationship and extravagant lifestyle which eventually led to Wild [THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] De Profundis (Latin: "from the depths") is a letter written by Oscar Wilde during his imprisonment in Reading Gaol, to "Bosie" (Lord Alfred Douglas). During its first half Wilde recounts their previous relationship and extravagant lifestyle which eventually led to Wilde's conviction and imprisonment for gross indecency. He indicts both Lord Alfred's vanity and his own weakness in acceding to those wishes. In the second half, Wilde charts his spiritual development in prison and identification with Jesus Christ, whom he characterises as a romantic, individualist artist. The letter began "Dear Bosie" and ended "Your Affectionate Friend". Wilde wrote the letter between January and March 1897, close to the end of his imprisonment. Contact had lapsed between Douglas and Wilde and the latter had suffered from his close supervision, physical labour and emotional isolation. Nelson, the new prison governor, thought that writing might be more cathartic than prison labour. He was not allowed to send the long letter which he was allowed to write "for medicinal purposes"; each page was taken away when completed, and only at the end could he read it over and make revisions. Nelson gave the long letter to him on his release on 18 May 1897. BONUS : • The Canterville Ghost Audiobook. • 10 Illustrations about Oscar Wilde ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: Rutilus classics publishes great works of literature at an affordable price. Our books have been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.

30 review for De Profundis (Illustrated) + Free Audiobook

  1. 5 out of 5

    °°°·.°·..·°¯°·._.· ʜᴇʟᴇɴ Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος ·._.·°¯°·.·° .·°°° ★·.·´¯`·.·★ Ⓥⓔⓡⓝⓤⓢ Ⓟⓞⓡⓣⓘⓣⓞⓡ Ⓐⓡⓒⓐⓝⓤⓢ Ταμετούρο Αμ

    ”Now it seems to me that love of some kind is the only possible explanation of the extraordinary amount of suffering that there is in the world. I cannot conceive of any other explanation. I am convinced that there is no other, and that if the world has indeed, as I have said, been built of sorrow, it has been built by the hands of love, because in no other way could the soul of man, for whom the world was made, reach the full stature of its perfection. Pleasure for the beautiful body, but pain ”Now it seems to me that love of some kind is the only possible explanation of the extraordinary amount of suffering that there is in the world. I cannot conceive of any other explanation. I am convinced that there is no other, and that if the world has indeed, as I have said, been built of sorrow, it has been built by the hands of love, because in no other way could the soul of man, for whom the world was made, reach the full stature of its perfection. Pleasure for the beautiful body, but pain for the beautiful soul." Το «De profundis» γράφτηκε στη φυλακή, σε διάρκεια τριών μηνών το 1897. Είναι μια περίεργη εξομολόγηση. Ένα ξεχωριστό έγγραφο. Μια θρησκευτική μαρτυρία. Μια φιλοσοφική διατριβή. Μια κραυγή απελπισίας και θάρρους. Το οξύμωρο στην επιστολή αυτή αποτελεί το γεγονός πως απευθύνεται αυστηρώς προσωπικά σε κάποιον αποδέκτη ενώ παράλληλα είναι ένα εξαιρετικό λογοτεχνικό έργο για δημόσια προβολή. Στην ουσία είναι μια «εκ βαθέων» ψυχής εξομολόγηση του Όσκαρ Ουάιλντ. Το κύκνειο άσμα ενός τεράστιου πνευματικού δημιουργού με μια αφοριστικά καταραμένη κραυγή πάθους και εσωτερικής ποιότητας του Ουάιλντ προς τον ίδιο του τον εαυτό. Το θέμα του είναι μια τραγωδία πάθους. Μια εκφραστική δυνατότητα ενός απίστευτα ρομαντικού και ερωτευμένου με τη ζωή και τα πάθη ανθρώπου που αισθάνεται γράφοντας το, ότι μιλάει απο τα βάθη της τελικής του ήττας. Διαβάζοντας το αισθάνεσαι το σπαραγμό και την πτώση μιας τόσο ευαίσθητης και ευφυέστατης καλλιτεχνικής φύσης. Συμπονάς θαυμάζοντας παράλληλα την απόλυτη καταστροφή μιας υπεροχής προσωπικότητας, που άλλαξε τη φιλοσοφία και την ποιότητα της τέχνης. Έναν μοναχικό γίγαντα της αγάπης και της μετάνοιας που ακολουθώντας την καρδιά του, τον απεγνωσμένο έρωτα, τον βίαια εθιστικό δρόμο της απολαυστικής ηδονής, κατέληξε να μη γνωρίζει πλέον αν τον ζηλεύουν ή αν τον λυπούνται. Αν τον συμπονούν με θλιβερή κατανόηση ή τον χλευάζουν με ρηχή ευχαρίστηση. Ταπεινώθηκε, θυσιάστηκε, έχασε τα όσα πλουσιοπάροχα του είχε χαρίσει η ζωή απλόχερα -απο κοινωνική θέση, οικογενειακή ευτυχία, οικονομική ευμάρεια, πνευματική καλλιέργεια, εως καλλιτεχνική ανύψωση στο θρόνο της τέχνης. Και παραδόθηκε στην τιμωρία άνευ όρων. Αποδέχτηκε τον δημόσιο εξευτελισμό. Τον χλευασμό των εχθρών του. Την προδοσία των φίλων του. Το χαμό αγαπημένων του προσώπων και προσωπικές απώλειες ανυπολόγιστης αξίας. Συνηθισμένος να μιλάει με αβίαστη ανωτερότητα, φαίνεται να προκαλεί την τραγωδία της μοίρας και τη γεμίζει με μια σύγχρονη φάρσα που πηγάζει απο το κοινωνικό καθεστώς. Όταν γράφει ειναι σαν να μιλάει με νότες, σαν να συνθέτει τη μουσική που ταιριαζει ακριβώς στην ανομία και την κατάντια της ζωής του. Είναι ένας άρχοντας υψηλής πολιτιστικής κληρονομιάς και διαχρονικής αξίας. Ο διασυρμός, η βιαιότητα, τα αισχρά και φθηνά κουτσομπολιά, η στέρηση πνευματικής εμπειρίας και το ρηχό αίσθημα, όσο κι αν αρμόζουν στην κατάσταση που αναγκάστηκε να ζει, δε του ταιριάζουν, είναι ψεύτικα, σαν το χρυσάφι του Μήδα. Προσπαθεί μέσα απο την εξομολόγηση του να εκλογικεύσει τα δεινά του. Για να αντέξει. Βιώνει κατάψυχα και κατάσαρκα τη θλίψη. Πιστεύει πως πίσω απο κάθε πόνο, κάθε θλίψη, υπάρχει μια ψυχή που αξίζει να αγαπιέται, που στέκεται σε συμβολική θέση με το ίδιο το μυστικό της ύπαρξης. Αναγάγει τη μοίρα του σε κοινή και πανανθρώπινη. Δεν υπάρχει κανείς, διατείνεται, που να είναι τόσο άθλιος όσο ο ίδιος, να ζει σε παρόμοια αθλιότητα με τη δική του και να μην «πάσχει» για το μυστικό της ζωής. Πιστεύει στην πνευματική μορφή του αγνωστικισμού και του προσδίδει μια τελετουργική γλώσσα και μια κοσμική αξίωση, όπως αξίζει σε κάθε θρησκεία. Είναι βαθιά ατομιστής, όπως ήταν κατά την άποψη του και ο ίδιος ο Χριστός. Ισχυρίζεται πως η φυλάκιση του τον αποδέσμευσε απο κάθε υλική αναγκαιότητα και ενίσχυσε την αυτοπεποίθηση του. Η απόλυτη ιδέα που κάνει την αυτοκαταστροφή του ενα όνειρο επανεκκίνησης είναι η λογική της τέχνης. Η τέχνη, που κάνει το φανταστικό πραγματική ύπαρξη και ενώνει την ύλη με το πνεύμα. Ιδανικός επαγγελματίας της ανώτατης τέχνης σύμφωνα με τον Ουάιλντ είναι ο Χριστός. Ο Χριστός που έκανε τα πάντα για να καταλάβουν οι άνθρωποι πως το βασίλειο των ουρανών ειναι η ίδια η ψυχή τους. Δίδαξε πως η αγάπη ειναι ομορφότερη απο το μίσος και η μετάνοια ο μοναδικός τρόπος για να αλλάξει κανείς το παρελθόν. Αγάπησε τους αμαρτωλούς περισσότερο απο τους ευσεβείς και τα σκοτάδια τους. Η τελική αποτίμηση του συγγραφέα είναι η αποφασιστικότητα και η θέληση να μεταμορφώσει την ψεύτικη αξία του υλικού σε αισθητικό θησαυρό. Μέσα απο τη διαρκή αξία της τέχνης η χάρη της πίστης είναι μια διαρκής υπενθύμιση και μια προτροπή για να ξεφύγει απο το βάθος της δυστυχίας του μέσω της δημιουργίας. Το De profundis δεν είναι μια δήλωση εξομολόγησης ή μετανοίας. Αποτελεί ίσως μια εύθραυστη πρώτη ύλη που θα μπορούσε να δημιουργήσει τη βάση στήριξης ενάντια στην καταβαράθρωση της ανθρώπινης ζωής. 💜✡️💜✡️✡️💜💜 Καλή ανάγνωση. Πολλούς ασπασμούς!!!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    It is funny how sometimes books come at you (and when I say you, I mean me), sometimes almost in clusters. It is almost like there really is a God and He has infinite knowledge of the universe and knows just what it is that you need to be thinking about right about now, except He is curiously shy and so He doesn’t like to come right out with it and tell you directly what’s on His mind. So, instead, He leaves books lying around in places where you are fairly likely to trip over them and then pick It is funny how sometimes books come at you (and when I say you, I mean me), sometimes almost in clusters. It is almost like there really is a God and He has infinite knowledge of the universe and knows just what it is that you need to be thinking about right about now, except He is curiously shy and so He doesn’t like to come right out with it and tell you directly what’s on His mind. So, instead, He leaves books lying around in places where you are fairly likely to trip over them and then pick them up and think about them – you know, it’s been a while since I read a book about someone rotting away in prison, I ought to read this… Except, it hasn’t been a while since I did anything of the sort. Only the other week I was reading another perfectly good book written by a man who was rotting away in a perfectly good prison and that book also had him thinking about the consolation given to him by philosophy. This book isn’t too different from that one (The Consolation of Philosophy Revised Edition). The big difference is that this should probably be called the consolation of art – but other than that I guess the message of both is much the same. The Message is pretty much that we are alone in the world. If you are to live a life that isn’t a cliché you have to learn that most people don’t live their own lives, they live lives that should be bound by quotation marks. “Most people are other people.” Wilde says himself. They think other people’s thoughts, they mouth whatever are the most popular opinions of the day, they watch the same stuff on television that everyone else does and they can even put together sentences grouped into endless paragraphs on subjects of infinite fascination as the merits of the computer generated graphics they saw in Avatar. If you are going to live a worthwhile life (and isn’t that the only question of any interest in the whole of philosophy – which is probably why it is the one question modern philosophy seems to avoid) then Wilde’s advice is to at least try to be yourself. He acknowledges that doing that is a hard thing – Christ, they might even put you in gaol if you try that sort of thing – but the alternative is a much worse prison cell and one where you are both prisoner and warder, where you turn the key that locks you in yourself. Eliot, of course, was wrong – but being a poet he gets to be wrong as long as he is beautifully wrong. We don’t think of the key, each sitting in our prison thinking of the key as if that confirmed the prison – the most frightening thing is that we don’t think of the key at all – we don’t think of the key because to think of the key is to acknowledge the prison. And for most of us that is too much to acknowledge. Prison? What prison? But there is an escape plan. We are individuals and life is not the ordered, rational, scientifically verifiable and graphed out hypothesis in fifteen variables that someone of the Enlightenment might have decided you ought to think it is. Wilde sees the great conflict of the human soul as being that between Classicism and Romanticism and in that conflict we need to take sides and the side Wilde takes is Romanticism. As he says, “I am one of those who is made for exceptions, not for laws”. And let’s face it, we do like our victims to find forgiveness for us after we have meted out our punishments of them. Wilde even discovers Christ, in a sense – though, I think the Christ Wilde discovers isn’t quite the same Christ that many Christians would be familiar with. This is not Christ the punisher, Christ the faith-healer or Christ the disappointed friend – but rather a Christ who is wise enough to use children as his example to us of who we should strive to be like. Such a Christ is someone worthy of being followed. His was a Christ who was the lover of ignorant people, the protector of the exceptions, the defender of those who might just prove to have a great idea. I thought this was a remarkable book – and a terribly sad book too. Although in the end of this Wilde, like Boethius, is not as bitter with his fate as he could so easily be, although he envisions a future life that is not dedicated to the pursuit solely of pleasure, but rather to a life that also acknowledges darker shades and minor keys; art is seen as the means to free ourselves from the horrors this world presents us with dreadful, if not predictable, regularity. This was a remarkable book – I found it incredibly moving and often painfully sad. I think, though, that it is often good to be reminded of both the infinite harm we can cause to other people and also the near perfect gift we give that is contained in our simplest act of kindness. This really is a lovely piece of writing. The stuff on Hamlet is worth reading on its own – nothing is invariably good, and art must also be included in that – Hamlet creating the play within the play in which to watch the effect this causes is Hamlet the artist. Hamlet’s madness is Hamlet the actor. And this plays a great part in what is the tragedy of Hamlet. This is, like so many of Wilde’s works, full of quotable quotes and so here are a quick selection of some of my favourites – “There were Christians before Christ. For that we should be grateful. The unfortunate thing is that there have been none since” – “A man whose desire is to be something separate from himself, to be a member of parliament, or a successful grocer, or a prominent solicitor, or a judge, or something equally tedious, invariably succeeds in being what he want to be. That is his punishment.” – “I must accept the fact that one is punished for the good as well as the evil that one does”.

  3. 5 out of 5

    leynes

    At the beginning of 2016, I read an abridged version of De Profundis. Alongside with The Importance of Being Earnest, The Picture of Dorian Gray and Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime, it was one of the first things I read by Oscar Wilde and that made me utterly and irrevocably fall in love with him. After finishing the abridged version, I dived into an extensive research on Oscar and uncovered the injustices he had to face during his lifetime. So, the abridged version of this letter solidified him as m At the beginning of 2016, I read an abridged version of De Profundis. Alongside with The Importance of Being Earnest, The Picture of Dorian Gray and Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime, it was one of the first things I read by Oscar Wilde and that made me utterly and irrevocably fall in love with him. After finishing the abridged version, I dived into an extensive research on Oscar and uncovered the injustices he had to face during his lifetime. So, the abridged version of this letter solidified him as my trash child, and I’ll forever be grateful for that. So I’m even more excited that over two years later I finally got around to reading the full letter and let me tell you, the tea is scalding hot in that one! Whilst the abridged version omitted almost all passages in which Oscar called out Bosie and his lowly ways, the full version has it all. So many accusations, so many insults, so much grief, so much heartbreak. Even though Oscar claims it isn’t so, this letter is essentially a love letter. Oscar claims that Bosie means nothing to him, that he has finally managed to break away … oh, my darling child, between the lines it’s so obvious how hurt, how fucking hurt, Oscar was that Bosie ignored him during his imprisonment. Oscar desperately wanted to receive letters from Bosie, be visited by him, have his affection and love… and when after two years, he didn’t hear or see anything, he fucking snapped. I have said that behind sorrow there is always sorrow. It were wiser still to say that behind sorrow there is always a soul. And to mock at a soul in pain is a dreadful thing. De Profundis is not fun to read. It is absolutely heartbreaking. It’s a demonstration of Oscar at his low point, you see the man for who he is, in the realest and rawest fashion; no mask to hide behind, no wit and snark to conceal his vulnerability. The letter is deeply personal and makes you feel like a perverted intruder or voyeur. These words weren’t meant for us but as the man for whom they were decided never to read them (seriously, fuck you, Bosie!) I think Oscar wouldn’t feel so bad about the public having a share in his suffering and feeling with and for him. Oscar and Bosie’s love story is a tragic one. Not just due to the confinements of Victorian England that rendered homosexual relationships as “indecent” and “gross”, also because the two of them, in my frank judgement, didn’t belong together. Their relationship was bound to be fucked up. Oscar saw in Bosie the man he always wanted to be, young, beautiful, rich, admired – he was unable to see Bosie for who he really was due to his idealisation of him. And Bosie sought in Oscar, well, a man that could provide for him, financially and socially. Bosie loved the spotlight, he loved being at the side of a man who was hailed and celebrated all over the country. As soon as Oscar’s success dissolved, he no longer served a purpose for Bosie. This is not a tale of star-crossed lovers. It’s a tale of two men who were bound to destroy one another. In De Profundis, Oscar truthfully details their history and how he tried and continuously failed to cut off his ties to Bosie. Oscar needed Bosie. He couldn’t let him go. The question arises whether Oscar, finally, needed to destroy himself. Oscar was way ahead of his time; that becomes even more clear when you take into consideration that he is more celebrated than ever in the 21st century. Just a few years back, the queen pardoned him for his “crimes”. Apart from its subject matter, De Profundis is incredibly well written. I honestly cannot imagine Oscar sitting down in his cell for months on end and coming up with such brilliancy. He famously states in that letter: “I, once a lord of language, have no words in which to express my anguish and my shame.” Oh, honey, don’t lie, the words are at your disposal as they always were. Oscar manages to be brutally honest yet endearing in his appeal. He compares himself to his own creations, Dorian Gray in particular. Both “took pleasure where it pleases me, and passed on.” Oscar is disgusted by his former self, his hedonism. Or at least he claims he is. The thing that fucks me up the most about this letter is that it just shows the paradoxical nature of Oscar and how he, ultimately, failed and didn’t fail to change his ways. Let me elaborate. I genuinely think that Oscar became a “better” person after his imprisonment. He finally managed to see the faults in his excessive ways and that he basically didn’t give a shit about anyone apart from himself prior to 1895. I mean, I could go on a tangent about how he mistreated his wife and how Constance deserved so much better, but we don’t have the time. After De Profundis, the only other two works that he published were “Two Letters to the Daily Chronicle”, in which he expressed his concern of the treatment of children in prisons, and “The Ballad of Reading Goal”, another appeal for the reform of conditions in British prisons. Both works show Oscar’s gain of empathy and that he was finally trying to do some good. However, if you look at the bare facts of how he chose to lead his life after his release, I cannot help but shake my head. Whilst he claims in his letter that he’ll refuse to see Bosie again (with the exception of one meeting in which he’ll pick up some of his stuff from him), one of the first things he did after his release was going on a long vacation with him. Ignoring Robbie Ross and all of the other people who actually stood by his side during his imprisonment, he ran back to Bosie as if it were nothing. Their liaison was cut off by threats of cutting off their money. Both of them parted for a final time. And even though Oscar trashes greedy rich people in his letter and reminds people to appreciate “less as more”, he spent his salary of 150 pounds a year (that he got from family and friends) on booze and prostitutes. Of course, I understand that his fall from grace fucked him up real good and he couldn’t make his exile in Paris a true home for him, and needed coping mechanism for all of his fatal losses (lack of status, no money, Bosie gone, Constance dead). Society takes it upon itself the right to inflict appalling punishment on the individual, but it also has the supreme vice of shallowness and fails to realise what it has done. When the man's punishment is over, it leaves him to himself; that is to say, it abandons him at the very moment when its highest duty towards him begins. Oscar knew that “society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me, has none to offer;” nonetheless, I can’t help but think that Oscar was definitely not a person who practiced what he preached. He’ll be forever my trash son, don’t get me wrong, but when you look at his life after his imprisonment, he didn’t follow through with his resolutions from De Profundis. The one thing that legit could make me cry for days is the fact that in his letter, Oscar still had so much hope for the future, for him as an artist; he wanted to create. He genuinely thought he would write again. The fact that he only managed to publish one narrative poem within the three years that he had left of his life, makes me incredibly sad. It’s one of the reasons why I appreciate “Reading Goal” so much, it’ll forever be my favourite work of his. For anyone who is interested in Oscar, not just an artist but as a person, De Profundis is an essential read. It gives you a unique insight into his mind and how he coped with his fall from grace. In it, he claims that Bosie kept him from being creative, that he didn’t finish anything during his time at his side (i.e. the unfinished “A Florentine Tragedy” or “La Sainte Courtisane”). His words are vicious and ruthless. He wrote certain passages simply to hurt Bosie, to finally evoke a reaction from him. It’s a testimony of their toxic relationship, at the end of their time together both of them were left drained and hollow, yet couldn’t stay away from one another. Most people are other people. Their thoughts are some one else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. It’s a horrible letter, really, and yet the most beautiful and important thing Oscar has ever written. We finally see the man behind his mask, Oscar behind his constructed facade.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Piyangie

    De Profundis or "from the depths" is a long letter written by Oscar Wild to Lord Alfred Douglas while he was imprisoned in Reading Goal. The letter is Wild's attempt to come to terms with his past, present dire circumstances, and the future that he will have to face once released. As the name states, the letter is an account from the depth - from his soul with all honesty. Although he holds that he is unjustly convicted, he nevertheless admits that he has committed grave errors in the past. He i De Profundis or "from the depths" is a long letter written by Oscar Wild to Lord Alfred Douglas while he was imprisoned in Reading Goal. The letter is Wild's attempt to come to terms with his past, present dire circumstances, and the future that he will have to face once released. As the name states, the letter is an account from the depth - from his soul with all honesty. Although he holds that he is unjustly convicted, he nevertheless admits that he has committed grave errors in the past. He is repentant on the superficial life he has had led. And he seeks forgiveness and bestows forgiveness of those who he believed wronged him. The letter is also a way of releasing his anger, bitterness, and despair while he struggled to find meaning and purpose for the continuation of his life. He admits that he wanted to end it in utter despair. But yet he struggles, despite his losses (he was made bankrupt and he was barred from any contacts with his sons), to come to terms with the nature of life which he says is "full of sorrow" which can be endured only though "love". It was truly sad to read the emotional and mental agonies that such a fine artist had to go through. And when he said that he had brought disgrace to the name that his loving parents had bestowed on him, my heart broke. It is a huge burden one carries with oneself. ********************************************** This second time I managed to get hold of the complete letter that was written to Lord Alfred Douglas. It gives a better picture of their relationship and how it led to Wilde's ultimate downfall. The account was heartbreaking. I felt his pain and despair, and couldn't help but feel that if only the society and institutions of justice were more merciful. They didn't punish a man. They punished art.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Paquita Maria Sanchez

    I am giving this a lower rating than it technically deserves, due to some of my personal beliefs that are important enough to me that I am unwilling to ignore them in a review where they are so entirely relevant to the book at hand. As a piece of writing, it is several synonyms for luscious and tragically chest-stabby. However, underneath the primary and quite applicable to post-3-decades-on-Earth-me themes of looking back on many a wasted year and regretting a lot of the selfish and short-sight I am giving this a lower rating than it technically deserves, due to some of my personal beliefs that are important enough to me that I am unwilling to ignore them in a review where they are so entirely relevant to the book at hand. As a piece of writing, it is several synonyms for luscious and tragically chest-stabby. However, underneath the primary and quite applicable to post-3-decades-on-Earth-me themes of looking back on many a wasted year and regretting a lot of the selfish and short-sighted decisions one makes in a lifetime, there is Wilde's conclusions that faith in Jesus and rolling about in debilitating regret are the only ways out of the pickle that is taking stock of your life. I've been hearing that bull for as long as I can remember and from a plethora of sources such as random Southerners, television shows, extended relatives, teachers, etc, and the fact that even Oscar Wilde eventually drew such conclusions makes me feel more than a little bit doomed. So, Wilde's 5-star writing + a 0-grade on the final rounded up because the other students in class did an even worse job = 3 stars. I hope my bias is clear, and that anyone reading this review knows that if you don't find it niggling to be preached at, you would probably really enjoy this short, beautiful work. Oh, one last thought: if you think this review is freakim' emo, you should read the book. It makes my grumble-mumbles look like glittery rainbow unicorns.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alice Poon

    A piece of beautiful, honest, philosophical writing that flows from a chastened soul. Passages that tug at my heartstrings: "To regret one's own experiences is to arrest one's own development. To deny one's own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one's own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul." "Truth in art is the unity of a thing with itself: the outward rendered expressive of the inward: the soul made incarnate: the body instinct with spirit." "Now it seems to me that love of so A piece of beautiful, honest, philosophical writing that flows from a chastened soul. Passages that tug at my heartstrings: "To regret one's own experiences is to arrest one's own development. To deny one's own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one's own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul." "Truth in art is the unity of a thing with itself: the outward rendered expressive of the inward: the soul made incarnate: the body instinct with spirit." "Now it seems to me that love of some kind is the only possible explanation of the extraordinary amount of suffering that there is in the world. I cannot conceive of any other explanation. I am convinced that there is no other, and that if the world has indeed, as I have said, been built of sorrow, it has been built by the hands of love, because in no other way could the soul of man, for whom the world was made, reach the full stature of its perfection. Pleasure for the beautiful body, but pain for the beautiful soul." "Time and space, succession and extension, are merely accidental conditions of thought, the imagination can transcend them and move in a free sphere of ideal existences. Things also are in their essence of what we choose to make them; a thing is according to the mode in which we look at it."

  7. 4 out of 5

    Vivian

    When faced with the abyss before you, is there only emptiness or is there a new beginning? This is an intensely personal examination of Wilde's journey during incarceration. It follows the Stages of Grief and intertwines the religious with art. It has some incredible observations that made me examine my own thoughts and assumptions. But it is a very unimaginative nature that only cares for people on their pedestals. A pedestal may be a very unreal thing. A pillory is a terrific reality. They sh When faced with the abyss before you, is there only emptiness or is there a new beginning? This is an intensely personal examination of Wilde's journey during incarceration. It follows the Stages of Grief and intertwines the religious with art. It has some incredible observations that made me examine my own thoughts and assumptions. But it is a very unimaginative nature that only cares for people on their pedestals. A pedestal may be a very unreal thing. A pillory is a terrific reality. They should have known also how to interpret sorrow better. I have said that behind sorrow there is always sorrow. It were wiser still to say that behind sorrow there is always a soul. And to mock at a soul in pain is a dreadful thing. In the strangely simple economy of the world people only get what they give, and to those who have not enough imagination to penetrate the mere outward of things, and feel pity, what pity can be given save that of scorn?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Maria Espadinha

    1º Acto - Uma Parteira Chamada Dor: - "Suffering is really a revelation. One discerns things one's never discerned before" 2º Acto - A Roda dos Opostos: - "I turned the good things of my life to evil and the evil things of my life to good" 3º Acto - A Experiência Constrói o Ser: - "To regret one's own experience is to arrest one's own development" Cai o Pano: No fim de tudo o que há a reter, é que quem trilha o Caminho do Puro Prazer, está na verdade a trilhar o Caminho da Dor sem o saber. Quer nos agra 1º Acto - Uma Parteira Chamada Dor: - "Suffering is really a revelation. One discerns things one's never discerned before" 2º Acto - A Roda dos Opostos: - "I turned the good things of my life to evil and the evil things of my life to good" 3º Acto - A Experiência Constrói o Ser: - "To regret one's own experience is to arrest one's own development" Cai o Pano: No fim de tudo o que há a reter, é que quem trilha o Caminho do Puro Prazer, está na verdade a trilhar o Caminho da Dor sem o saber. Quer nos agrade quer não , Dor e Prazer nasceram casados e assim permanecerão!...😜

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    In the letter Wilde wrote to his friend Robert Ross enclosing this extended essay he finishes with a beautiful image ' On the other side of the prison wall there are some poor black soot-besmirched trees which are just breaking out into buds of an almost shrill gren. I know quite well what they are going through. They are finding expression '. These lovely few sentences capture quite marvelously the thrust of this book. It is an account of Wilde's re-birth from in amidst the degradation and cruel In the letter Wilde wrote to his friend Robert Ross enclosing this extended essay he finishes with a beautiful image ' On the other side of the prison wall there are some poor black soot-besmirched trees which are just breaking out into buds of an almost shrill gren. I know quite well what they are going through. They are finding expression '. These lovely few sentences capture quite marvelously the thrust of this book. It is an account of Wilde's re-birth from in amidst the degradation and cruel shaming brought about by his arrest and imprisonment. From out of the depths of his sorrow and bitterness you see the pushing upwards of a soul seeking to be at rights with himself and the world. This is not an essay filled with witticisms or sharp aphorisms but it is, as he might have said at another time, bejewelled with turns of phrase and ideas which really move. His humility and genuine acknowledgement of his own responsibilities does not lessen the sense of heartbreak that you read betwen the lines. ' I grew careless of the lives of others. I tok pleasure where it pleased me and passed on. I forgot that every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character.....i was no longer the captain of my soul, and did not know it. '. This book is fascinating because you read Oscar Wilde's journey as he moves to a fuller and freer wisdom and the centrality of his sense of being in posession of his soul, his real self. It reminded me of that quotation from Edith Wharton in ' The touchstone' where she writes something like ' we live in our souls as if an unmapped region a small area of which we have cleared for our own habitation '. Wilde is struggling and succeeding to take posession of more and more of his mysterious hinterland. A journey with an amazingly open and honest guide. At one point he writes of his plans for the next 18 months after his release, sadly this was all he was to have before his death but he states that ' if i may not write beautiful books, I may at least read beautiful books; and what joy can be greater ' Oscar, I couldn't have said it better myself

  10. 4 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    This is one of the letters Wilde wrote while in prison. It is very heart felt and references many of the things he studied while at Oxford.

  11. 4 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    How can a love be so true be so wrong? No, erase that. Who am I to say that it is wrong? Oscar Wilde (1854–1900), Irish writer, poet, aesthete and Lord Alfred Douglas (1870-1945), British author, poet, translator are in-love with each other and they are both homosexuals. Also, Wilde is married to Constance Lloyd (1859-1898) and they have two children: Cyril and Vyvyn. Douglas is single at 21 and Wilde, 37, married and already a father when they start their affair. After a year, Wilde is incarcerat How can a love be so true be so wrong? No, erase that. Who am I to say that it is wrong? Oscar Wilde (1854–1900), Irish writer, poet, aesthete and Lord Alfred Douglas (1870-1945), British author, poet, translator are in-love with each other and they are both homosexuals. Also, Wilde is married to Constance Lloyd (1859-1898) and they have two children: Cyril and Vyvyn. Douglas is single at 21 and Wilde, 37, married and already a father when they start their affair. After a year, Wilde is incarcerated due to "gross indecency", or homosexual acts. The year is 1895 and London is not yet open to homosexuals. It was the Douglas father, John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry who gathered all the evidences against the then famous novelist and playwright Wilde. The motive according to Wilde: the father and son hate each other. The mother is afraid of both. In fact, the mother has been sending Wilde letters with a P.S. On no account let Alfred know that I have written to you. De Profundis ("from the depths") is a long letter of lamentation of Wilde addressed to his lover Douglas, written during his imprisonment that lasted for 2-1/2 years. It started with bitterness (with Wilde enumerating the money spent on Douglas' whims and caprices) before moving to more profound and thought-provoking references to the Holy Bible, Shakespeare, The Divine Comedy, Plato, etc. It is worded beautifully the I had to stop several times and process and savor his words. Just to give you an example: Suffering is a long moment. We cannot divide it by seasons. We can only record its moods, and chronicle their return. With us time itself does not progress. It revolves. It seems to circle round one centre of pain. The paralyzing immobility of life, every circumstance of which is regulated after an unchangeable pattern, so that we eat and drink and walk and lie down and pray, or kneel at least for prayer, according to the inflexible laws of an iron formula: this immobile quality, that makes each dreadful day in the minutest detail like its brother, seems to communicate itself to those external forces the very essence of whose existence is ceaseless change. The big question I have is: did the young Douglas also love the much older Wilde? Or did he just use Wilde for money? The book did not answer this. There are evidences or references for both sides. I think it would depend on what the reader wants to believe. I would not want to give my opinion because if I do that, I will either be condemning or encouraging their kind of love. Who am I to do that? The narrative is powerful, poignant and strong. If this is not anchored on love, I doubt if it will the impact that still resonates to its readers up to now. I Googled "De Profundis" and there found a Facebook account where seemingly gay men put their comments on this book. The prevailing sentiment, it seems, is that they find Wilde's musings liberating and inspiring. Powerful narrative. Brilliant writer.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I can't believe how highly rated this book is here. I can't remember being so crushingly disappointed by anything since the Star Wars prequels. I had been waiting to read this for so long before I finally bought it for myself; I love Oscar Wilde but he can be a bit glib, so I was eager to read what he had written while imprisoned. I was hoping to see him become genuinely introspective, learn what drove him to the conversion I knew came soon afterward, and generally read some beautiful, heartfelt I can't believe how highly rated this book is here. I can't remember being so crushingly disappointed by anything since the Star Wars prequels. I had been waiting to read this for so long before I finally bought it for myself; I love Oscar Wilde but he can be a bit glib, so I was eager to read what he had written while imprisoned. I was hoping to see him become genuinely introspective, learn what drove him to the conversion I knew came soon afterward, and generally read some beautiful, heartfelt stuff. This is not that book. Almost all of the book is self-important unbearable ranting in which he blames his lover for all his troubles, while referring to himself as a capital-A Artist and a genius. It felt like reading blog posts from Kanye West. Describing this book as a "love letter" seems to me absurd. It's written by someone who was obviously in love, but that love is bitter, resentful, and often seems to have curdled entirely to hate. As we flip through Wilde's rolodex of spite and hear every grief and gripe he has stored up against his lover, it soon becomes more interesting to imagine how Douglas would defend himself than to continue reading such one-sided self-pity. It suggests Wilde really hadn't come to any realizations or greater understanding-- saying "I blame myself" is not very convincing if you follow that up with "for letting you do this to me." There is absolutely no doubt that he is a writer of amazing ability; when Wilde actually did get introspective, there were moments of intense beauty and power in this text. For me, they weren't worth slogging through all the unsent-emails-to-my-ex type screeching that surrounded it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Saman

    “When first I was put in prison some people advised me to try and forget who I was. It was ruinous advice. It is only by realizing what I am that I have found the comfort of any kind.” For me, Oscar Wilde is one of those few authors whose works make you question human behavior, and De Profundis was no different. With every Oscar Wilde read, my love for him has only increased, and I don’t think I’ll ever read Oscar Wilde and not like it. I don’t have much to say except that it was an intense and “When first I was put in prison some people advised me to try and forget who I was. It was ruinous advice. It is only by realizing what I am that I have found the comfort of any kind.” For me, Oscar Wilde is one of those few authors whose works make you question human behavior, and De Profundis was no different. With every Oscar Wilde read, my love for him has only increased, and I don’t think I’ll ever read Oscar Wilde and not like it. I don’t have much to say except that it was an intense and emotional read and I loved it. De Profundis is a letter written during Wilde’s imprisonment in Reading Gaol to his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas in which he recounts the events of his early life and how his extravagant life and his sexual orientation led to his imprisonment. It throws light on Wilde’s sorrows and sufferings and his determination to have no bitter feelings against the world. “It is always twilight in one’s cell, as it is always twilight in one’s heart.”

  14. 5 out of 5

    georgia ☽

    i'm not okay. "Society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me, has none to offer; but Nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make i'm not okay. "Society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me, has none to offer; but Nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole." edit: after reading the complete version of this, i've increased the rating from four to five stars. oscar wilde's pain and love and bitterness is so powerful that raw emotion bleeds from the pages. my heart aches for him.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stina

    I won't write a solid review for this because I just poured out my energy in a review with terrible grammar and no good points. Just a forewarning, y'all. When I read this, all I could really do was think about Oscar Wilde's conditions when writing this. He wrote it in prison. I can't imagine he had it very nice there. Yet, he manages to write a perfectly Oscar Wilde-y letter, with beautiful prose and good insights. I don't really want to talk about it anymore... just read it. If you like Oscar W I won't write a solid review for this because I just poured out my energy in a review with terrible grammar and no good points. Just a forewarning, y'all. When I read this, all I could really do was think about Oscar Wilde's conditions when writing this. He wrote it in prison. I can't imagine he had it very nice there. Yet, he manages to write a perfectly Oscar Wilde-y letter, with beautiful prose and good insights. I don't really want to talk about it anymore... just read it. If you like Oscar Wilde. I personally do, I really love him, so I enjoyed this. You probably won't like this if you don't like Oscar Wilde.

  16. 4 out of 5

    DJ

    My first thought when I’d only read a page or two: “wow this is the most intelligently-bitchy thing I’ve ever read I love it.” Another page or two in, and I’m already so sad. My heart breaks for Oscar Wilde. And honestly, FUCK Alfred Douglas. What a jerk. I guess toxic people and relationships have always existed :(

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lynne King

    This is a fabulous book. I loved it when I read it twenty or so years ago but I appreciate it more now for its literary worth. That's the difference. Nice to see that it's still being read by my friends here. This is a fabulous book. I loved it when I read it twenty or so years ago but I appreciate it more now for its literary worth. That's the difference. Nice to see that it's still being read by my friends here.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    Part I Wow. Well, first off, this was excellent Valentine's Day reading, and when I say that I'm only about 64% sarcastic. If De Profundis shows anything it shows that love is complicated and however much I wanted to shake Oscar Wilde and yell "You're right to be upset! He's horrible! He's not worth it!" I know he wouldn't listen to me. On the other hand, I can't imagine being on the receiving end of this letter and keeping my cool, even if I just had a teaspoonful of heart. Part II This is what mak Part I Wow. Well, first off, this was excellent Valentine's Day reading, and when I say that I'm only about 64% sarcastic. If De Profundis shows anything it shows that love is complicated and however much I wanted to shake Oscar Wilde and yell "You're right to be upset! He's horrible! He's not worth it!" I know he wouldn't listen to me. On the other hand, I can't imagine being on the receiving end of this letter and keeping my cool, even if I just had a teaspoonful of heart. Part II This is what makes me think Oscar Wilde would have made an excellent emo kid: "After a time that evil mood passed away and I made up my mind to live, but to wear gloom as a King wears purple: never to smile again: to turn whatever house I entered into a house of mourning: to make my friends walk slowly in sadness with me: to teach the that melancholy is the true secret of life: to maim them with an alien sorrow: to mar them with my own pain." Part III And then there's this: "But I met you either too late or too soon, I don't know which." Yeesh. We've all been there.

  19. 4 out of 5

    BAM Endlessly Booked

    I'm only 6 pages in and my heart is breaking I'm only 6 pages in and my heart is breaking

  20. 4 out of 5

    lethe

    I finally finished this. Lately, whenever I had time to read, I found myself doing other things instead, which is never a good sign. I was taken aback by how much of a pity party this was. Yes, prison must have been appalling, especially to someone used to the finer things in life, and yes, Alfred Douglas may well have been a narcissist with absolutely no regard for Wilde's feelings, but Wilde's ranting on for page after page how Douglas had made the life of a genius artist (i.e., Wilde) miserabl I finally finished this. Lately, whenever I had time to read, I found myself doing other things instead, which is never a good sign. I was taken aback by how much of a pity party this was. Yes, prison must have been appalling, especially to someone used to the finer things in life, and yes, Alfred Douglas may well have been a narcissist with absolutely no regard for Wilde's feelings, but Wilde's ranting on for page after page how Douglas had made the life of a genius artist (i.e., Wilde) miserable and blaming him for everything quickly began to grate. Since Oscar was quite a bit older than Bosie, who was in his early twenties, he should have been wiser. But since I read that after his release, Oscar met up with Bosie again and they lived together for two months, I don't think he learned. This edition, as far as I can tell, is complete. I kept the abridged version in The Annotated Oscar Wilde next to it. In hindsight, I would probably have enjoyed just reading that version better. Some paragraphs that are over a page long in the complete edition are broken up into several smaller paragraphs, which makes for more pleasant reading than a wall of text. It also has more extensive notes and the abridgements mainly concern Wilde's rants. For example, I could have lived without knowing to the pound exactly how much money Oscar spent on Bosie. So, a disappointment on the whole. There are some beautiful and profound passages, but too few for my liking.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sidharth Vardhan

    Probably the best, most beautiful and profound (it is there in title) book written by Oscar Wilde. This is probably even better better that 'The Picture of Dorian Grey'. Probably the best, most beautiful and profound (it is there in title) book written by Oscar Wilde. This is probably even better better that 'The Picture of Dorian Grey'.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ying Ying

    I've read the original (i.e. abridged) version only. Wilde's writing remained powerful despite his immense suffering in prison. Even though the text was incomplete, it was not less significant. I might pick up a more complete version of De Profundis some time soon. I've read the original (i.e. abridged) version only. Wilde's writing remained powerful despite his immense suffering in prison. Even though the text was incomplete, it was not less significant. I might pick up a more complete version of De Profundis some time soon.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    Beautiful, fascinating, poetic, and heartbreaking, Wilde becomes the “spectator of his own tragedy” in De Profundis and attempts a sort of mystical Confiteor to make sense of the suffering of his soul. When first I was put into prison some people advised me to try and forget who I was. It was ruinous advice. It is only by realizing what I am that I have found comfort of any kind. Now I am advised by others to try on my release to forget that I have ever been in a prison at all. I know that would Beautiful, fascinating, poetic, and heartbreaking, Wilde becomes the “spectator of his own tragedy” in De Profundis and attempts a sort of mystical Confiteor to make sense of the suffering of his soul. When first I was put into prison some people advised me to try and forget who I was. It was ruinous advice. It is only by realizing what I am that I have found comfort of any kind. Now I am advised by others to try on my release to forget that I have ever been in a prison at all. I know that would be equally fatal. It would mean that I would be always haunted by an intolerable sense of disgrace, and that those things that are meant as much for me as for anyone else -- the beauty of the sun and moon, the pageant of the seasons, the music of daybreak and the silence of great nights, the rain falling through the leaves, or the dew creeping over the grass and making it silver -- would all be tainted for me, and lose their healing power and their power of communicating joy. To reject one's own experiences is to arrest one's own development. To deny one's own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one's own life. It is no less than a denial of the Soul." There are so many great reviews of this here on GR that I'll just add an aspect that I think hasn't been touched upon. Wilde’s meditations on his pre-prison life were colored by the reading he undertook while in prison: the Bible, Dante, Saint Augustine, and Cardinal Newman among others. However, it was still his situational antinomianism upon which he filtered his philosophy even as he found in himself parallels with the prodigal son: Of course the sinner must repent. But why? Simply because otherwise he would be unable to realize what he had done. The moment of repentance is the moment of initiation. More than that. It is the means by which one alters one's past. The Greeks thought that impossible. They often say in their gnomic aphorisms "Even the Gods cannot alter the past." Christ showed that the commonest sinner could do it. That it was the one thing he could do. Christ, had he been asked, would have said — I feel quite certain about it — that the moment the prodigal son fell on his knees and wept he really made his having wasted his substance with harlots, and then kept swine and hungered for the husks they ate, beautiful and holy incidents in his life. It is difficult for most people to grasp the idea. I dare say one has to go to prison to understand it. If so, it may be worthwhile going to prison. Wilde puts the past transgressions (despite what you/I/we see today as transgressions) of the prodigal son into the category of “beautiful and holy things” rather than the effect that later resulted from them, thus making the evil things good rather than accepting that God may bring good from evil. He’s justified his own actions as necessary for the remaking of the man he thought he was become. It is tempting to see him as a new man born from his catastrophe but the short, mostly depressed and alcohol-soaked life of poverty he lived afterward was not exemplary of someone on the road to wisdom or salvation. Instead, it seems he'd become even more mired in "the depths" from which he thought he was rising. However, that detracts nothing from him being one of the masters of the English language.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Théodore

    After all, Wilde's novel does not pose the problem of likes or dislikes, given the rather controversial topic. O.W. - had a destiny that taught him ( early enough) - which is the reverse of irresponsible excesses and eccentricity : the social-sanction, ( of Victorian society ! ) , dishonor and imprisonment. Wilde was not, however, sanctionated by society for his scandalous speech, but for immorality, for " the crime of sodomy ". " De profundis "- is a long letter to Lord Alfred Douglas, ( spo After all, Wilde's novel does not pose the problem of likes or dislikes, given the rather controversial topic. O.W. - had a destiny that taught him ( early enough) - which is the reverse of irresponsible excesses and eccentricity : the social-sanction, ( of Victorian society ! ) , dishonor and imprisonment. Wilde was not, however, sanctionated by society for his scandalous speech, but for immorality, for " the crime of sodomy ". " De profundis "- is a long letter to Lord Alfred Douglas, ( spoiled Bosie) , his beloved, a letter drafted shortly before his leaving prison. We folow a process of maturation through suffering and deprivation, a process during which maturation will serve to produce art, to continue his art. The epistle consists of two sequences ( unmarked, is flowing without segmentation) : The first, recovers the connection with his lover, who did not deserve it, evokes moments of insane life, lived toghether. The second part, traces the steps of the deep spiritual maturation, with whom the direct relationship with the Son of God invests. This is, - in the Wilde's way, the Individualist artist, the Romantic. " What was the paradox for me in the sphere of thought, became the perversion in the sphere of passion ". Here's how the genius frivolous guilt acknowledges that is goes so far to say that superficiality is the greatest vice. Wilde's novel makes the transition from aestheticism, from aristocratic hedonism, - to the experiences of suffering, seen as the essence of art. As I said earlier, it may like it or not, but it undoubtedly confirms the value of the author.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gerhard

    One of the great statements of artistic integrity and intent in the history of English literature, and one of the greatest examples of prison literature. Intensely moving and personal; I think every reader will have a different reaction to this short epistle, depending on their own life circumstances and experience. What I found surprising, given Wilde's noted penchant for debauchery, was his impassioned defense of Christianity, and upholding the life of Jesus as the supreme example of the artist One of the great statements of artistic integrity and intent in the history of English literature, and one of the greatest examples of prison literature. Intensely moving and personal; I think every reader will have a different reaction to this short epistle, depending on their own life circumstances and experience. What I found surprising, given Wilde's noted penchant for debauchery, was his impassioned defense of Christianity, and upholding the life of Jesus as the supreme example of the artist as a purveyor of the meaning of life, love and beauty. One could argue that deprivation and confinement induced a psychotic break in Wilde; but, as with most great writers, there is much more to it than that. Eloquent, haunting, and immensely readable and likeable, De Profundis shows this Lord of Language at the height of his powers, even when he was at the depth of personal despair.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    At once a meditation on what it means to live a worthwhile life and a tirade against a reckless former lover, De Profundis is the publication of a long letter Wilde wrote in prison to Lord Alfred Douglas, whose carelessness in large part led to Wilde's imprisonment upon charges of homosexuality. The letter mostly sketches the regrettable course of the relationship; its middle section, though, takes a detour in order to stress similarities between the life of Christ and that of an artist, tacitly At once a meditation on what it means to live a worthwhile life and a tirade against a reckless former lover, De Profundis is the publication of a long letter Wilde wrote in prison to Lord Alfred Douglas, whose carelessness in large part led to Wilde's imprisonment upon charges of homosexuality. The letter mostly sketches the regrettable course of the relationship; its middle section, though, takes a detour in order to stress similarities between the life of Christ and that of an artist, tacitly aestheticizing Christianity and positioning Wilde himself as holy. Despite the letter's painful subject, Wilde's acerbic wit makes it a fairly quick read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    julieta

    This book is just so painful. It gets difficult a times, but then at others Wilde makes something much bigger of his woes. He flies in philosophy, metaphysic ideas. Love, hate, hurt, sorrow, Christ, friendship, family, he speaks of so many things. Yet you are left with a very sad feeling. If this is what may happen to someone so great, what is left for mere mortals like us? Is love to be so cruel?

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    I have taken more time than I should have to finish this book. I was alternating it with one of Ayn Rand's books. Anyway, this is of no import. On with the review. Honest, wrought with emotions, Oscar Wilde fulfilled the title's English translation "out of the depths." Every word, phrase, every line mirrored his strong sentiments of sorrow and pain, and of hope and aspiration from all his sufferings during the time of his incarceration. De Profundis, nevertheless, reflected the poignancy of his w I have taken more time than I should have to finish this book. I was alternating it with one of Ayn Rand's books. Anyway, this is of no import. On with the review. Honest, wrought with emotions, Oscar Wilde fulfilled the title's English translation "out of the depths." Every word, phrase, every line mirrored his strong sentiments of sorrow and pain, and of hope and aspiration from all his sufferings during the time of his incarceration. De Profundis, nevertheless, reflected the poignancy of his wit. He was and still is "A Lord of Language." I saw then at once that what is said of a man is nothing. The point is, who says it. A man's very highest moment is, I have no doubt at all, when he kneels in the dust, and beats his breast, and tell all the sins of his life. How narrow and mean, and inadequate to its burdens is this century of ours: it can give to success its palace of porphyry, but for sorrow and shame it does not keep even a wattled house in which they may dwell.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    I never would have expected a treatise on the meaning of suffering and sorrow, the path to the soul, and a meditation upon Christ as the first true artist/poet from a man imprisoned for homosexuality. It was a pleasure to read this "letter" that emerged out of Oscar Wilde's two year imprisonment for "illicit behavior". How one of his life of leisure, wealth, and decadence could find the path to his soul and the beauty in suffering and the value of nature while imprisoned in a jail cell for two y I never would have expected a treatise on the meaning of suffering and sorrow, the path to the soul, and a meditation upon Christ as the first true artist/poet from a man imprisoned for homosexuality. It was a pleasure to read this "letter" that emerged out of Oscar Wilde's two year imprisonment for "illicit behavior". How one of his life of leisure, wealth, and decadence could find the path to his soul and the beauty in suffering and the value of nature while imprisoned in a jail cell for two years is a truly beautiful testament to the potential for redemption in humankind. I loved it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Calderon

    This 'book'-in reality, it is a letter written to Lord Alfred Douglas-is brimming with beautiful passages, intelligent ideas, and honest emotion. I haven't read something this transfixing and powerful in quite some time. It truly reveals Wilde's mastery of language, and his profound understanding on the human psyche. I found myself wondering if he knew that this would be read in the future by people other than Lord Alfred Douglas. It wouldn't change my experience of the book, but it was just so This 'book'-in reality, it is a letter written to Lord Alfred Douglas-is brimming with beautiful passages, intelligent ideas, and honest emotion. I haven't read something this transfixing and powerful in quite some time. It truly reveals Wilde's mastery of language, and his profound understanding on the human psyche. I found myself wondering if he knew that this would be read in the future by people other than Lord Alfred Douglas. It wouldn't change my experience of the book, but it was just so beautiful and contemplative that I wonder if it was written for two audiences: Lord A. Douglas and us. Anyway, he speaks of love, sorrow, Christ, 'Art', and the power of imagination to enumerate a few topics. I have found myself referring back to this book while writing my own prose. The reason being that he handles complex emotional themes in an almost philosophical way, patiently and meticulously explaining himself, making sure he is perfectly understood. I assume the nature of the letter and the conditions surrounding it (being captive in prison) influenced his pace and thoroughness, and one can only hope to pour that much of oneself into one's writing. I highly recommend this book. Especially for anyone who has experimented with deep sorrow and contempt for another human. It masterfully straddles the lines of culpability and forgiveness: borders found in the land of sorrow, at the edge of one's soul where the feeling of infinity finds it home and happiness rests on the horizon.

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