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De Profundis and Other Writings (Penguin English Library) Paperback – August 26, 1976

ISBN-13: 978-0140430899 ISBN-10: 014043089X Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin English Library
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (August 26, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014043089X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140430899
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,535,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'De Profundis' remains Wilde's greatest piece of prose-writing -- Colm Toibin --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin in 1854. After his marriage to Constance Lloyd in 1884, he tried to establish himself as a writer, but with little initial success. However, his three volumes of short fiction, The Happy Prince (1888), Lord Arthur Savile's Crime (1891) and A House of Pomegranates (1891), together with his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), gradually won him a reputation as a modern writer with an original talent, a reputation confirmed and enhanced by the phenomenal success of his Society Comedies -- Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, all performed on the West End stage between 1892 and 1895. Success, however, was short-lived. In 1891 Wilde had met and fallen in love with Lord Alfred Douglas. In 1895, when his success as a dramatist was at its height, Wilde brought an unsuccessful libel action against Douglas's father, the Marquess of Queensberry. Wilde lost the case and two trials later was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for acts of gross indecency. As a result of this experience he wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol. He was released from prison in 1897 and went into an immediate self-imposed exile on the Continent. He died in Paris in ignominy in 1900.

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By James McPherson on January 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
Written as a letter to Bosie, De Profundis shows an author at the peak of his powers, yet tragically already fallen. Anger, disgust, revulsion, joy, reflection - in many ways a total separation from the glib and cocky literature that made him famous - the full gamut of a humbled man. Even missing the cheeky humor and quick turn of phrase there is still a solid thread of consistency entombed in De Profundis, that of salvation. From the grace evident in his fairy tales to the recognition of inner justice in Dorian Gray, Wilde flirted with the themes of the Divine and of sacrifice. This is one of the finest, and most powerful, personal essays ever committed to paper. No collection, or indeed beginnings of understanding, of Wilde can possibly be complete without it.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By César Tort on January 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Who never ate his bread in sorrow
Who never spent the midnight hours
Weeping and waiting for the morrow.
He knows you not, ye heavenly powers!

As I asked in my blog's entry today, When will the counter-jihadists or the white nationalists realize that only through what Solzhenitsyn called the development of the soul we will be able to understand the whys of today's crisis? Only after they suffer The Crash. After that, a few of them might become familiar with the legacy of Alice Miller...

I am so surprised. Fifteen years ago I read Oscar Wilde's most profound, confessional book. But like the rest of mankind I was blind and did not see the obvious. Today I reread my notes of a 1943 Spanish translation of De Profundis and couldn't believe how much I have changed since 1995.

I discovered Alice Miller in 2002. Her books changed my life. These days I reread a newer, albeit identical copy of De Profundis that was at my family's library and a whole new Wildean universe emerged. How could I have read Wilde in the dark before the transforming experience that represented Miller?

The real title that Wilde chose for this letter-book was Epistola in Carcere et Vinculis. It is a shame that, although Wilde constantly mentions in this epistle to his former boyfriend Alfred Douglas, "Bosie", that he would soon make it reach Bosie's very hands, Wilde never dared to deliver De Profundis to him.

Wilde's De Profundis is actually two books inside one cover: an accusative and self-accusative epistle and a soul-searching incursion unrelated to Bosie, where Wilde writes page upon page about "Christ". All of this idealization of Jesus only reflects Wilde's literary and artistic mind, who always strove to look for beauty.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great intro and more insight into this literary, self-destructive but literary genius. A keeper. The only books I own vs. library books - Oscar Wilde.
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0 of 10 people found the following review helpful By gcd on September 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
never did like the posture but another 1 got flayed because the sun in the west was away to an early bird catchin another
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