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Old 12-20-2007, 09:50 PM   #1
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Wilde, Oscar: De Profundis, v1, IMP, 21 Dec 2007.

Oscar Wilde, De Profundis

‘De Profundis’ means ‘Out of the depths’ and is the beginning of psalm 130 (or 129 in the Vulgate Bible).

The work is a letter by Wilde, written from prison to his former lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. The version given is incomplete because the unexpurgated text is still in copyright.

Wikipedia says:
“During his time in prison, Wilde wrote a 50,000 word letter to Douglas, which he was not allowed to send while still a prisoner, but which he was allowed to take with him at the end of his sentence. On his release, he gave the manuscript to Robert Ross, who may or may not have carried out Wilde's instructions to send a copy to Douglas who, in turn, denied having received it. Ross published a much expurgated version of the letter (about a third of it) in 1905 (four years after Wilde's death) with the title De Profundis, expanding it slightly for an edition of Wilde's collected works in 1908, and then donated it to the British Museum on the understanding that it would not be made public until 1960. In 1949, Wilde's son Vyvyan Holland published it again, including parts formerly omitted, but relying on a faulty typescript bequeathed to him by Ross. Its complete and correct publication occurred in 1962, in The Letters of Oscar Wilde.”
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