De profundis
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De profundis

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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  3,387 ratings  ·  219 reviews
Detenuto per sodomia, Wilde scrisse nel 1897 questo manoscritto in forma di lettera, frutto della tragica lotta che un artista ribelle ingaggia contro le ipocrisie della società, al suo giovane amante Bosie. Wilde appare in queste pagine un uomo affascinante e contraddittorio, ormai fiaccato nell'animo, sofferente come un autentico artista romantico, un Cristo perseguitato...more
Paperback, Universale economica. I classici #2016, 152 pages
Published April 1st 1991 by Feltrinelli (first published 1885)
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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...more
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...more
Mark
Nov 05, 2011 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: To the Marquis of Queesnsbury,
Recommended to Mark by: someone to whom I should be eternally grateful
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...more
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 26, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books (Memoir)
Shelves: 501, memoirs
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...more
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...more
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...more
Leila
Apr 20, 2010 Leila rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in oscar wilde, lgtb, autobios, love/hate, philosophy
"Love does not traffic in a marketplace, nor use a huckster's scales. Its joy, like the joy of the intellect, is to feel itself alive. The aim of Love is to love: no more, and no less. You were my enemy: such an enemy as no man ever had. I had given you all my life, and to gratify the lowest and most contemptible of all human passions, hatred and vanity and greed, you had thrown it away. In less than three years you had entirely ruined me in every point of view. For my own sake there was nothin
...more
inverted_a
Τόσες σκέψεις σε ένα γράμμα 50.000 λέξεων από την φυλακή, τόσα θέματα γνωστά, τόσoς οικείος θρήνος --ο Wilde όπως και ο Pessoa αισθάνομαι πια πως έρχονται από την ίδια γνώριμη περιοχή που κάποτε συναντηθήκαμε όλοι(;) και πιθανότατα δεν θέλουμε να επισκεφθούμε ξανά, οπότε διαβάζοντας αυτόν τον σπαραγμό απ' την αρχή μέχρι το τέλος έμεινα με μία απορία στο μυαλό: γράμματα, αλληλογραφία, γιατί σταματήσαμε να στέλνουμε γράμματα; Αν αρχίσεις να γράφεις, δεν είναι εύκολο να αντισταθείς σε μία λευκή σελ...more
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...more
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.
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...more
Simona
Ho bramato, desiderato leggere questo libro da tempi immemori e ora a lettura ultimata, posso dire che non ha deluso le mie aspettative, anzi.
"De profundis" è una lunga lettera che Wilde scrive a Lord Alfred Douglas, detto "Bosie" durante il periodo che ha trascorso nel carcere di Reading per il reato di sodomia.
E' una lunga lettera accorata, profonda, sofferta in cui Wilde si scaglia contro il suo amante, colpevole di non essergli stato accanto, di non essere mai andato a trovarlo e di averlo...more
Moira Russell
Corin Redgrave gives a beautiful, thoughtful, blistering performance of Wilde's letter, based on a monologue he worked up for the stage, recorded right in Reading Prison where Wilde wrote it. It's almost more difficult to listen to the famous book spoken by a living voice than it is even to read it. A short sharp introduction by Merlin Holland, Wilde's grandson, is also good, altho I could have done without the overly mournful cellos and actual chain-rattling at the beginning.

Redgrave wrote him...more
Jinny Chung
"Whether you can or not it remains as a hideous truth in the very heart of our friendship. While you were with me you were the absolute ruin of my Art, and in allowing you to stand persistently between Art and myself I give to myself shame and blame in the fullest degree. You couldn't know, you couldn't understand, you couldn't appreciate. I had no right to expect it of you at all. Your interests were merely in your meals and moods. Your desires were simply for amusements, for ordinary or less o...more
Miguel
Escrita em 1897, quando Oscar Wilde esteve preso por acusação de práticas homossexuais, De Profundis é uma longa carta, com alto pendor de severidade. O autor dirigiu-a a Lord Douglas Queensberry, na altura em que estava quase a completar dois anos de penitência, na prisão de Reading.
Além do reconhecimento mundial que os seus escritos tiveram, o drama e a tragédia marcaram a vida do autor de O Retrato de Dorian Gray. Casou-se em 1884 e teve dois filhos. No início da década seguinte, o escritor...more
Amy
It's no surprise that this letter is beautifully written; Wilde wrote beautifully. I read A Portrait of Dorian Grey so many years ago, I barely remember it, but I remember the language as being sumptuous. Wilde's plays are known for their sharp wit. I suppose, even though I knew this was a letter Wilde had written while in jail, I imagined it would be full of witty, scathing bravado. It was anything but.

Oscar Wilde wrote this epistle from Reading Gaol where he was held after being convicted of s...more
Dorota

THE MYSTIC RUMBLINGS OF A TORMENTED NARCISSUS OR THE DEEPLY MOVING LOVE LETTER FROM THE GOAL?
Cecilia W Yu
I will not pander to people who fob off his brilliant work due to homophobic beliefs in 2014. He was an artist and an excellent, profound and witty writer even in his darkest writings he expressed great compassion for humanity's inhumane treatment of others, including him! If being a far right gay hating fascist make England happy....I am going with the French," let them eat cake!" and that goes for any kind of scapegoating and intolerance that today in 2014 would violate international charter o...more
Shari
De Profundis..."From the depths". This letter is, without doubt, written from the depths - a confession of pain, sorrow, despair and transition in a dark, damp and cold Victorian prison. In this documentation, of sort, Wilde tells of his fall from grace and painful metamorphosis. He bares his soul, rips the very gut of his being out, examines what he had for so long lived for,and weeps over the fact that what he was is more pitiful than what he has become. The process of Wilde's examination is p...more
Katherine
Ignore all the "love letter" business - this is the testimony of a man who went through complete and utter personal ruin, only to arrive at a real and deep assessment of his life and the people and pursuits he had devoted his time to.
Josh
breakup letter, celebrity expose, prison letter, article of faith, philosophical pronouncement, and finally, a love letter.

why not?
Shanna
Jun 14, 2007 Shanna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: misanthropes, the heartbroken
Shelves: favorites
Wilde's letter to the lover that has destroyed him.
Utterly devastating.
Beautiful.
Julie
5/17, 11/11

sorrow, suffering, humility, love, betrayal, art, beauty.
Barbara Rice
Tedious. I guess he had plenty of time to spill his guts.
Scortia
A great, honest work, De Profundis was written by a man who looked at his world collapse around him and chose to reflect on it. With Wilde's witty writing, it's quite a profound work to allow readers to truly delve into seeing the man himself. He saw himself as a symbol and reflection of his times. After his early success, he lived a life of comfort that he also criticized. Two years in prison helped him to put all the pieces together in his head. The first part of Profundis is a letter directly...more
Sajede Thunderbolt

چقدر دلم میخواست عقایدم را در بارۀ این موضوع به زبانی بنویسم که واژگانش ظرفیت پذیرش این افکار را داشته باشند،گرچه هیچ زبان انسانی ای قادر به تحمل بار برخی معانی ذهنی و آنچه من آن را عشق میخوانم نیست، ازین روست که همیشه سکوت را بیشتر ترجیح داده ام. چرا که با بیان هر جمله یک قدم به شکست -سرنوشتی که غایت انسان ست- نزدیک تر میشویم...

زندگی ِتجربی،کلید راز جهان است. انسانی که در جای جای محیط پیرامونش،ذره ذرۀاعمال خودش یا دیگران،لحظه لحظۀ خاطراتش، یا هر یک از اتفاقاتی که برایش افتاده،حتی لبخند مهرآمیز...more
Jennifer
Written from Reading Gaol, Wilde's thoughts on society, sorrow, and religion make for fascinating reading. You can see his moods and reactions shifting and changing over time. It's heartbreaking reading in many ways, of course. It seems such a terrible waste that someone so brilliant was broken by society for behavior that people wouldn't bat an eye at today (the adultery more so, perhaps...but he may well have never married a woman in this day and age and thus avoided that). Knowing Wilde, a 21...more
Farah Aridi
This is the second book (not counting his The Ballad of Reading Goal) that I read for Oscar Wilde. For a most humble reader and poor expert on Wilde, though an avid fan, I am fascinated both by Wilde's language, captivating style, and dangerous thoughts. I do not mean dangerous as in contagious, corruptive, or debased. Rather, Wilde's logic seem to nudge your sight and insight from between the lines on the page in a manner not poetic, though it seems to be so at first, but profound, deep, and ye...more
Louize
The Apostle Paul once said that suffering is a privilege for the soul (Philippians 1:29). I have recently met a man who spoke the same thing. A man who saw his imprisonment not the end, but the beginning of life – a revelation.

Oscar Wilde was a renowned writer, poet and playwright. Imprisoned for sodomy and gross indecency. He was a victim of, both, love and its consequences. His is a story that is inspiring and humbling. His epistle, De Profundis, was said to be an allusion of Psalm 130; meant...more
Prabhat Gusain
This is the last paragraph -

All trials are trials for one’s life, just as all sentences are
sentences of death; and three times have I been tried. The
first time I left the box to be arrested, the second time to be
led back to the house of detention, the third time to pass
into a prison for two years. 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 va...more
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Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, and a plentitude of aphorisms, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being E...more
More about Oscar Wilde...
The Picture of Dorian Gray The Importance of Being Earnest The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays   An Ideal Husband The Canterville Ghost

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“The most terrible thing about it is not that it breaks one’s heart—hearts are made to be broken—but that it turns one’s heart to stone.” 394 likes
“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.” 148 likes
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