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De Profundis

Oscar Wilde

Book Overview: 

This short work of Wilde’s was written during his two year incarceration for “gross indecency”. This work is a letter which sorts out his life, and his love toward Lord Alfred Douglas. Wilde wrote this as a farewell letter to Douglas.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .riest or a vision has cleansed, and converts them into swiftness or strength, into the play of beautiful muscles and the moulding of fair flesh, into the curves and colours of the hair, the lips, the eye; so the soul in its turn has its nutritive functions also, and can transform into noble moods of thought and passions of high import what in itself is base, cruel and degrading; nay, more, may find in these its most august modes of assertion, and can often reveal itself most perfectly through what was intended to desecrate or destroy.

The fact of my having been the common prisoner of a common gaol I must frankly accept, and, curious as it may seem, one of the things I shall have to teach myself is not to be ashamed of it.  I must accept it as a punishment, and if one is ashamed of having been punished, one might just as well never have been punished at all.  Of course there are many things of which I was convicted that I had not done, but then. . . Read More