de Profundis (Paperback)
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Written from Wilde's prison cell at Reading Gaol to his friend and lover Lord Alfred Douglas, "De Profundis" explodes the conventions of the traditional love letter and offers a scathing indictment of Douglas's behavior, a mournful elegy for Wilde's own lost greatness, and an impassioned plea for reconciliation. At once a bracingly honest account of ruinous attachment and a profound meditation on human suffering, "De Profundis" is a classic of gay literature. Richard Ellmann calls "De Profundis" "a love letter...One of the greatest, and the longest, ever written."
This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition contains newly commissioned notes.
About the Author
Oscar Wilde was a Victorian-era British author and playwright. In his youth, Wilde became attached to the Aesthetic Movement, which emphasized the appreciation of the aesthetic value of cultural creations above social or political purposes, and this philosophy influenced his work throughout his career. The themes of art and beauty are particularly present in his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, , and in his two most popular dramatic works, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest. A quarrel with the Marquess of Queensberry, the father of Wilde's lover, Lord Alfred, resulted in Wilde's arrest and imprisonment for gross indecency. Wilde died in 1900, penniless and in exile, as a result of cerebral meningitis contracted while in prison.
Richard Ellmann was Goldsmiths Professor at Oxford University and Woodruff Professor at Emory University. He achieved world fame for his biography of Joyce and wrote many scholarly and critical works, including two on Yeats.
"Displays the insight, honesty, and unself-conscious style of a great writer."
--W. H. Auden