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De Profundis
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Archive 2018 Group Reads > 2018 May De Profundis by Oscar Wilde

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message 1: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 6304 comments Mod
Suggested novel De Profundis by Oscar Wilde is a letter written by Wilde during his imprisonment in Reading Gaol (HM Prison Reading, formerly known as Reading Gaol, is a former prison located in Reading, Berkshire, England). In 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".

Other suggestions:
A Moveable Feast
My Life in France
Down and Out in Paris and London

Share your thoughts and comments.


message 2: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8962 comments Mod
I will be reading the book by Oscar Wilde.


Ying Ying (yingyingshi) | 30 comments Thank you, Lesle!

Great to know you will be reading this book, Rosemarie! So will I. In fact, I just started and found that May might even fit with the month where Oscar Wilde wrote these pages:

"The calendar of my daily conduct and labour that hangs on the outside of my cell door, with my name and sentence written upon it, tells me that it is May. . . ."
Wilde, Oscar. De Profundis (pp. 1-2). Kindle Edition.


Ying Ying (yingyingshi) | 30 comments My Kindle version was extremely short... what book version are you reading?


Ying Ying (yingyingshi) | 30 comments His writing conveys such suffering that I felt sad from reading this letter...

What do you think about De Profundis?


message 6: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8962 comments Mod
My ebook version has 51 pages, which is available for free on Project Gutenberg.


message 7: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 6304 comments Mod
Ying Ying, your more than welcome! So glad to see you here!

Hope you enjoy!


Ying Ying (yingyingshi) | 30 comments Rosemarie wrote: "My ebook version has 51 pages, which is available for free on Project Gutenberg."

It's the same version I read then... Looking forward to knowing what you think!


Ying Ying (yingyingshi) | 30 comments Lesle wrote: "Ying Ying, your more than welcome! So glad to see you here!

Hope you enjoy!"


Thank you for being so kind, Lesle :-)


message 10: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8962 comments Mod
I plan on reading it some time this week.


Ying Ying (yingyingshi) | 30 comments Rosemarie wrote: "I plan on reading it some time this week."

The book is so short that you can finish in 1-2 hours :-) Enjoy, Rosemarie!

He writes so poetically... despite being imprisoned and forbidden to write.


message 12: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8962 comments Mod
I think Wilde writes beautifully. I read The Ballad of Reading Gaol last week. It is such a wonderful, sad poem.


message 13: by Ying Ying (last edited May 02, 2018 11:21AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ying Ying (yingyingshi) | 30 comments Yes, I am looking forward to exploring more of Oscar Wilde's work!

His thinking is so deep. (view spoiler)


message 14: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8962 comments Mod
I have read ten pages so far and am reading it slowly because there are so many ideas, thoughts and feelings there. It shows his vulnerability, honesty, humility and brilliance.


message 15: by Trisha (last edited May 03, 2018 11:35AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Trisha | 991 comments I will read De Profundis too. Though I’m already confused, as I got a free Kindle version that is described as having 280 pages, but now I have the book it says it can be read in about an hour. I read fast, but there are limits! I’m assuming the page count is wrong.


Ying Ying (yingyingshi) | 30 comments Trisha wrote: "I will read De Profundis too. Though I’m already confused, as I got a free Kindle version that is described as having 280 pages, but now I have the book it says it can be read in about an hour. I r..."

Haha.. indeed page count for the free Kindle version is wrong. If you are a fast reader, you might finish the text in less than an hour. The book turns out to be gold for your time: small time investment for lots of intellectual reward. Let us know what you think about Oscar's writing, Trisha!


Ying Ying (yingyingshi) | 30 comments Rosemarie wrote: "I have read ten pages so far and am reading it slowly because there are so many ideas, thoughts and feelings there. It shows his vulnerability, honesty, humility and brilliance."

You're right, Rosemarie! Sometimes I wish I could take some books slowly, too... but I can't. I always feel the urge to continue reading until I have reached the end; otherwise I will put a book aside for a very prolonged time.


message 18: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8962 comments Mod
I have sometimes read a novel so fast because it was exciting that I forgot many details about the ending since I was so rushed getting there.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

There are so many pains in this life, that it is hard to take pleasures slowly!

I have been in the very cell in which Oscar wrote this work.


message 20: by Catherine (new) - added it

Catherine Habbie That explains the sad 'melancholic' poetry!;)) Some talents do rub off..


message 21: by Catherine (new) - added it

Catherine Habbie Sometimes I do that too Rosemarie, but just when I am too eager to know the ending.It has to either be a very good book or a bad one. Average ones don't merit this cheating! ;)


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

As I get older, I find my attention span reducing. I no longer take on weighty tomes. Soon it will be just short short stories ...


message 23: by Catherine (new) - added it

Catherine Habbie I must be old already then, I read short stories all the time!


message 24: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8962 comments Mod
I am three quarters of the way through De Profundis. Wilde has managed to express a lot of ideas in a short time.
He stated that during the second year of his imprisonment he had a change of heart which left him without anger. He was glad because he lost his bitterness too and used the time for self-reflection instead of wishing he were anywhere else but in prison.


message 25: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8962 comments Mod
I can understand how Wilde longed to see natural things, especially the sea and flowers, after being imprisoned and kept away from beautiful things.


message 26: by Catherine (new) - added it

Catherine Habbie I am inspired to find the book now. I only knew it as a prayer for the dead. He must've experienced true remorse to produce such remarkable work.


Margot | 3 comments The reason why the e-book versions are so short is because they cut out all the parts where he talks directly to Bosie. I had to rummage into several libraries until I found the full text. This is why some versions are 51 pages longs, and other 280 pages.


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

280 pages? That's one LONG letter!


message 29: by Phil (new)

Phil J | 83 comments Margot wrote: "The reason why the e-book versions are so short is because they cut out all the parts where he talks directly to Bosie. I had to rummage into several libraries until I found the full text. This is ..."

Can you tell us which edition that is? I'm having a hard time finding the complete letter.


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