Marquis de Sade

Front Cover
Grove Press, 1987 - Fiction - 799 pages
120 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 Lost after the storming of the Bastille in 1789, it was later retrieved but remained unpublished until 1935.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

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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  - 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

Review: The 120 Days of Sodom and Other Writings

User Review  - John Fisher - Goodreads

I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't exactly an easy, casual read. Then again, I'm not an easy, casual reader. This had been sitting on my bookshelf for a couple years, but I finally found the time ... Read full review

About the author (1987)

The Marquis De Sade was born in Paris, France on June 2, 1740. He fought in the French Army during the Seven Years War before being tried and sentenced to death in 1772 for a series of sexual crimes. He escaped to Italy but upon his return to France in 1777, he was recaptured and thrown into the prison at Vincennes. De Sade spent six years at Vincennes before being transferred first to the Bastille and then to Charenton lunatic asylum in 1789. He was released from the asylum in 1790 but was arrested again in 1801. He was moved from prison to prison before returning to Charenton in 1803, where he later died on December 2, 1814. A French novelist and playwright, he is largely known for his pathological sexual views and ethical nihilism. His works include Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, Juliette, and Aline and Valcourt or The Philosophic Novel.

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.

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