The Meaning of Sorr...
 
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The Meaning of Sorrow


Mountaineer
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How far I am away from the true temper of soul, this letter in its changing, uncertain moods, its scorn and bitterness, its aspirations and failure to realise those aspirations, shows you quite clearly.
But do not forget in what a terrible school I am sitting at my task.
And incomplete, as imperfect, as I am, yet from me you may have still much to gain.
You came to me to learn the pleasure of life and the pleasure of art. Perhaps I am chosen to teach you something much more wonderful - the meaning of sorrow and its beauty.
- Oscar Wilde

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amy green
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Ah what an admirably gifted man Oscar was. It sounds like it was something he wrote to Bosie.

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Mountaineer
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Astonishingly beautiful words in their candour, observation and wisdom.

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Crowan
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It's the final part of 'De Profundis', and was indeed written to Lord Alfred Douglas. Have you read the whole thing? You might not find the rest of it particularly wonderful. Most of it is accusation.

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amy green
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It's the final part of 'De Profundis', and was indeed written to Lord Alfred Douglas. Have you read the whole thing? You might not find the rest of it particularly wonderful. Most of it is accusation.

Ah yes...that would fit. Oscar got bitter towards the end of his life. Indeed, it would be hard to remain optimistic with the way his life unfolded.

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Mountaineer
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I actually first heard the quote courtesy of Natascha McElhone, who read the quote aloud, having selected 'De Profundis' as one of her favourite books, on a television programme dedicated to book lovers.
I've since read the book. Though that quote stands out from everything else.

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Mountaineer
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They are, I suspect, quite hard words for many to comprehend - 'the meaning of sorrow and its beauty'.
Beauty? Savage beauty. But it changes you, opens your mind to understanding and your heart to empathy, like nothing else.

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Crowan
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Ah yes...that would fit. Oscar got bitter towards the end of his life. Indeed, it would be hard to remain optimistic with the way his life unfolded.

Very true. He wrote it in prison, probably knowing it was going to be read out in court. There's a kind of 'if I'm going down, you're coming with me' feel to a lot of it.

Having said that, I love The Ballad of Reading Gaol. I can read a great deal of empathy in that. Of course, he had been released by then. A very complex man.

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