#NovNov22 De Profundis
by Oscar Wilde
Finish date: November 2022
Genre: novella (short non-fiction)
Review: De Profundis (ISBN: 9788494856174)
Good news: This novella has been sitting in the centre of my book Complete Works of Oscar Wilde for more than 20 years on the bookshelf. I was always more interested in Wilde’s plays (The Importance of Being Earnest) of novels (The Picture of Dorian Gray). But now…thanks to the yearly challenge #NovNov22 promoting the joy of reading novellas De Profundis is off my TBR.
Bad news: There was a section in which Wilde goes off on a subplot: “Christ is the precursor of the romantic movement in life”. For those interested in this…it was an enlightening look at art vs Christ. But I was looking purely for the human side of Wilde…how spending time in jail changed him.
Don’t give up on this novella/short nonfiction) Part 1: description of Wilde’s feeling entering jail (excellent) Part 2: Christ vs Art (…this felt out of place and I did skim some pages) Part 3: Wilde revealing how being in jail changed him (excellent)
Bad news: A short novella of non-fiction is not easy to find! John Hersey’s Hiroshima is one of the most well known…but Oscar Wilde is there too!
Personal: When Oscar Wilde concentrates on his feelings about sorrow, finding humanity even in jail, revealing the acts of kindness he was shown and how he has changed…that is when this book hit home for me. Breathtaking how Wilde can express what it is like in a prison cell.
“I wept every dat at the same hour…that is not such a tragic thing as possibly it sounds to you. To those who are in prison tears are a part of every day’s experience .”
After being locked up he says:
“…we all look at nature too much and live with her too little.”
De Profunids, 50.000 words, is well worth your reading time.