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De Profundis (Anglais) CD audio – Livre audio, novembre 2002


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Preface by Richard Ellmann


De Profundis is a kind of dramatic monologue, which constantly questions and takes into account the silent recipient's supposed responses. Given the place where it was written, Wilde might have been expected to confess his guilt. Instead he refuses to admit that his past conduct with young men was guilty, and declares that the laws by which he was condemned were unjust. The closest he comes to the subject of homosexuality is to say, impenitently, that what the paradox was for him in the realm of thought, sexual deviation was in the realm of conduct. More than half of De Profundis is taken up by his confession, not of his own sins, but of Bosie's. He evokes two striking images for that young man. One is his favorite passage from Agamemnon, about bringing up a lion's whelp inside one's house only to have it run amok. Aeschylus compared it to Helen, Wilde to Douglas. The other is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who have no realization of Hamlet's tragedy, being "the little cups that can hold so much and no more."

The main theme of self-recrimination is that he did not break with Bosie. But his letter is an attempt to restore relations. And while he admits to "weakness," he explains the weakness as due to his affection, good nature, aversion to scenes, incapacity to bear resentment, and desire to keep life comely by ignoring what he considered trifles. His weakness was strength. The gods, he has discovered, make instruments to plague us out of our virtues as well as our vices.

Wilde acknowledges that along with good qualities, he was "the spendthrift of my own genius." But he passes quickly over this defect, and those that attend it. Much of De Profundis is an elegy for lost greatness. As he whips his own image, he cannot withhold his admiration for what that image was. Elegy generates eulogy. He heightens the pinnacle from which he has fallen:

I was a man who stood in symbolic relations to the art and culture of my age. I had realised this for myself at the very dawn of my manhood, and had forced my age to realise it afterwards. . . . Byron was a symbolic figure, but his relations were to the passion of his age and its weariness of passion. Mine were to something more noble, more permanent, of more vital issue, of larger scope.

The gods had given me almost everything. I had genius, a distinguished name, high social position, brilliancy, intellectual daring: I made art a philosophy, and philosophy an art: I altered the minds of men and the colours of things: there was nothing I said or did that did not make people wonder: I took the drama, the most objective form known to art, and made it as personal a mode of expression as the lyric or the sonnet, at the same time that I widened its range and enriched its characterisation: drama, novel, poem in rhyme, poem in prose, subtle or fantastic dialogue, whatever I touched I made beautiful in a new mode of beauty: to truth itself I gave what is false no less than what is true as its rightful province, and showed that the false and the true are merely forms of intellectual existence. I treated Art as the supreme reality, and life as a mere mode of fiction: I awoke the imagination of my century so that it created myth and legend around me: I summed up all systems in a phrase, and all existence in an epigram.

Continued... --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Revue de presse

'De Profundis' remains Wilde's greatest piece of prose-writing (Colm Tóibín) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .


Détails sur le produit

  • CD
  • Editeur : Smartpass Ltd (novembre 2002)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 1903362210
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903362211
  • Dimensions du produit: 14,9 x 1 x 12,3 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 2.3 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 1.522.652 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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MY DEAR ROBBIE,-I want you to have a letter written at once to Mr. - the solicitor, stating that as my wife has promised to settle a third on me, in the case of her predeceasing me, I do not wish any opposition to be made to her purchasing my life interest. Lire la première page
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3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par lili le 5 août 2011
Format: Broché
Il aurait été bon de mettre en évidence qu'il s'agissait de la première édition du livre, qui est donc parue avec de larges coupures dans le texte. Il s'agit donc de la version incomplète du livre!
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Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
J'aurais apprécié une traduction française. Je n'ai donc pas pu le lire.
Pas d'appréciation supplémentaire par conséquent. Existe-t-il une traduction française de ce texte ?
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2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par BETTONI Ludivine le 25 avril 2002
Format: Broché
Pour tout mieux comprendre de l'oeuvre à travers l'homme. Il y a là du génie c'est certain, de l'humour à n'en point douter mais peut être aussi enfin un brin de sincérité. A moins que là encore il ne s'agisse que d'un énième masque.
Ce livre est aussi un bon prélude à la relecture des autres oeuvres de Wilde et en particulier ce livre culte qu'est The Picture of Dorian Gray.
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Amazon.com: 36 commentaires
60 internautes sur 62 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An intricate novel in 90 pages. 16 janvier 2001
Par A. L. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I usually avoid reading writers' biographies or letters to their loved ones, especially those published posthumously. I am sure some people dream of the time when their lives are open to scrutiny by legions of readers, when their private confessions are published in neat volumes, and their witty letters to friends have little footnotes explaining the inside-jokes to the uninitiated. But the thought makes me cringe, and in the spirit of the old saying "do onto others", I have never before ventured into someone's exposed private life.
Last summer though, I came across this letter by accident and found myself unable to stop reading it until I was done. The glimpse into someone's vulnerable privacy was intoxicating. Having read (and loved) "The Importance of Being Earnest", "The Ideal Husband", and other light pieces, or even "The Portrait of Dorian Gray"--a more somber but still very controlled story, I was shocked by this letter--tortured by emotion and so uneven--by the same author.
The previous reviewer mentioned that he found the letter somewhat contrived. But the insincerity makes it all the more fascinating ! Not even the insincerity in itself, but the bits where the true emotion bursts through. I could imagine so vividly the great author, the person of wit and fashion, stripped of the glamor, in jail, trying to clear up his name in the public letter to his lover. He starts out with calm and controlled prose, trying to put his Christian-repentance-and-forgiveness scheme on paper... And, I am sure, he believes the things he plans to write. However, as he gets deeper into the narrative, as his pen takes a hold of him, he starts writing what he did not mean--the truth, full of bile and unrequited passion. In a while he notices it and collects himself, and the prose becomes controlled and witty and intellectual. But he is in jail, the time for writing is precious and does not permit the luxury of extensive editing. It lets soul nudity that would normally be edited out remain to seduce shamless readers like me.
It is not only the breakaway emotion that I found so compelling in the letter. It is also the very alternating nature of the narrative--from the polished and righteous to the true and base, and back. Is it not how our mind always works: how it thinks what we wish it to think and then breaks away to find something deeper in us, until we catch it and put it back to its proper controlled place...
There is a long and intricate novel hidden in this letter. It is a story of the rise and fall of a great man, of the universally human desire and its treacherous waters, of stoicism and weakness, of the fine society and jailed outcasts, and we see it through the eyes of the main hero who actually lived. It is presented fully on meager ninety pages. Wilde was a genius indeed.
33 internautes sur 33 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Sincerely True Though Perhaps Not Truly Sincere 21 janvier 2000
Par "goldieboyblue" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
I agree that this is a book that should be read by all and I do not deny the great emotional intensity with which it is written. For these two reasons and the very nature of the work, it certainly merits a 5 star rating. However, my primary criticism is that I was discomforted with an underlying feeling of insincerity when I read the words Wilde wrote to Douglas. I do believe that the circumstances were as Wilde listed, but I did not feel that Wilde was as forgiving as he depicted himself to be, nor made as independent by the time in prison. I wondered if, after his release, he really was able to be happy without all the pleasures and indulgences he had known in life before his sentence; if his compromised social status was honestly no longer of importance to him. The lesson he claimed in humility were repeatedly contradicted with his own claim to genius and superiority. And though he claimed to have always wanted out of his involvement with Douglas (and I beleive he did) and that he had now found the strength to resist him, I felt quite certain that he wanted nothing more than Douglas' return to him. All of this aside, however, the letter still makes for an interesting study in the human emotion under almost inhumane conditions and should be read for such. Whether his feelings were authentic and carried on into his life, likewise contribute to the intrigue of the expressions. He wrote what he surely believed to be true at the time and that alone is worth the time spent reading it.
26 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
I cannot summarise my feelings on this 19 juillet 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This is quite possibly one of the most profound pieces of literature ever written. It is, for those of you who do not know, a letter written from prison to Alfred Douglas. It is all about suffering and how in the end we can but love, like Antigone in Sophocles' play Wilde 'must love not hate'. This really does deserve to be more widely read - very few people I know had heard of it.
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
His best work 7 août 1999
Par Mashka142@aol.com - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
De Profundis is truly Oscar Wilde's best work. Written as a letter to Bosie, it contains his thoughts on his past life, his trial, and his future; it is full of intense emotion. If you are really interested in Wilde and his life, read De Profundis, it gives you a complete understanding of the metamorphosis he underwent while in Reading.
15 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Strangely moving 21 mai 2002
Par Bill R. Moore - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
One of the most famous - and infamous - letters in all of literature, De Profundis is a strange little piece of work: either much more than it appears on the surface, or much less. It is something I think everyone should read, if only for its insight into the human character, particularly that of one under great personal suffering. Wilde wrote this extraordinarily long letter from prison to Lord Alfred Douglas, his friend, lover, and the man who - by all accounts - was the reason Wilde was in jail in the first place. Despite repeated assertions in the first few pages alone to the contrary, Wilde seems reluctant to blame himself. He clearly blames Douglas to the hilt, and harbors a certain bitter resentment towards him. And yet... he clearly still hold much dear affection toward - and even loves - Douglas. He still seems to be asking for forgiveness - despite the fact that, by all accounts hardly excluding his own, he was the man wronged. It is quite clear from reading this letter that, desite the view history holds of him, Wilde was clearly a man of very high moral character. Certainly, one would not put Wilde atop a pedastal as the zenith of ethics - he himself says that morals contain "absolutely nothing" for him, and clearly admits - and is proud of - his having lived the high life to the hilt during his youth - but Wilde was a man of principles, and he stuck to those principles to the tragic, bitter end. Perhaps you might say he carried them too far. One gets the sense in reading this letter - or a biography of Wilde - that, not only could he have stopped his immiment imprisonment, but could have severed his ties with Douglas completely - had he wanted to. Apparently, he had his own utterly compelling reasons for not doing so. Whatever the case, Oscar Wilde is one of the most fundamentally and perpetually interesting characters in the whole of history. A self-described man of paradoxes - Wilde was subsequently the true essence of his time, while also being far ahead of his time - De Profundis makes for required reading by one of the most endlessly fascinating individuals you'll ever read about, and also provides a startling - indeed, perhaps too much so - insight into human nature.
De Profundis, though long for a letter, is not a long work in the conventional sense. Consequently, as many editions of Wilde's collected works are available, buying this on its own may be deemed questionable. I highly reccommend purchasing a Collected Works of Oscar if you have not done so already - it's well worth the price - but, should you desire to have more compact editions of specific works, an edition such as this will be privy to your needs.
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