The Marquis de Sade: The 120 Days of Sodom: And Other Writings

Front Cover
Pgw, 1987 - Fiction - 799 pages
119 Reviews
The Marquis de Sade, vilified by respectable society from his own time through ours, apotheosized by Apollinaire as "the freest spirit that has yet existed," wrote The 120 Days of Sodom while imprisoned in the Bastille. An exhaustive catalogue of sexual aberrations and the first systematic exploration-a hundred years before Krafft-Ebing and Freud-of the psychology of sex, it is considered Sade's crowning achievement and the cornerstone of his thought. Lost after the storming of the Bastille in 1789, it was later retrieved but remained unpublished until 1935.
In addition to The 120 Days, this volume includes Sade's "Reflections on the Novel," his play Oxtiem, and his novella Ernestine. The selections are introduced by Simone de Beauvoir's landmark essay "Must We Burn Sade?" and Pierre Klossowski's provocative "Nature as Destructive Principle." "Imperious, choleric, irascible, extreme in everything, with a dissolute imagination the like of which has never been seen, atheistic to the point of fanaticism, there you have me in a nutshell, and kill me again or take me as I am, for I shall not change."-From Sade's Last Will and Testament

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Bad writing cannot be masked with gratuitous sex. - Goodreads
The plot overview is simple. - Goodreads
The plot is not lacking, but the story certainly is. - Goodreads
This is marathon writing... - Goodreads

Review: The 120 Days of Sodom and Other Writings

User Review  - Patrick - Goodreads

My 5 stars is because reading this is an amazing experience. It's not really fun, or pretty, but it is breathtaking. Read full review

Review: The 120 Days of Sodom and Other Writings

User Review  - Bryan Johnson - Goodreads

Possibly the most shocking subject matter every written, yes, but the most challenging aspect of this very long book is the monotony. The most brutal torture seems to happen without much consequence ... Read full review

About the author (1987)

The Marquis de Sade (17401814) wrote the first drafts of several of his pornographic novels while in prison, including "Justine and 100 Days of Sodom,"
Francine du Plessix Gray is a contributor to the "New Yorker" and the author of numerous works, including "Them,"
Joachim Neugroschel has won three PEN translation awards and the French-American translation prize.
Tomer Hanuka is the creator, with twin brother Asaf, of the comics series "Bipolar" and is a founding member of Meathaus.

Winner of the National Book Award for translation and a graduate of Harvard University, Austryn Wainhouse left the United States for Paris partway through graduate work at the University of Iowa. He has worked in France as an editor and translator ever since. He was the first to translate the Marquis de Sade, including de Sade's 120 Days of Sodom, Juliette, and Justine. And he has translated the works of many other vital writers, including Pierre Klossowski, Georges Bataille, Simone de Beauvoir, and Jean Cocteau. Hedyphagetica, his only work of fiction, was first published by the Olympia Press. Wainhouse lives in the South of France.

Richard Seaver was a publisher, editor, and translator. He passed away in 2009.

Bibliographic information