The Marquis de Sade: A Very Short Introduction

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OUP Oxford, Jul 28, 2005 - Literary Criticism - 141 pages
This book introduces the Marquis de Sade as writer and philosopher to new readers, offering concise but comprehensive surveys of his most controversial works, based on contemporary theoretical approaches. The style is lively and accessible without sacrificing detail or depth.
An introductory chapter discusses Sade's life and the links between that and his work. Relying on the many letters he wrote to his wife and lawyer from prison and on other authentic, contemporary evidence, it attempts to disentangle this life from the various myths that Sade's demonic reputation has engendered throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This initial chapter also reviews the critical corpus or reception of the work since Sade's times up to the present, and reassesses his status as an extra-canonical writer. The following six chapters provide broad coverage of Sade's main intellectual and creative activities, showing how all can be seen as the expression of a veritable cult of the body, a veneration of the physical, and the sexual as channels of transcendence.

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User Review  - m.gilbert - LibraryThing

I like these little "A Very Short Introduction" books from Oxford University Press. They are quick to read and well-written, most of them, I'd say. Mr. Phillips likes Sade a good deal and seems to ... Read full review

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User Review  - KayCliff - LibraryThing

De Sade, who gave our language the term `sadism', is most generally known today for his four notorious `libertine novels', including Justine and Juliette, whose publication in 1791 and 1793 led to his ... Read full review


the real Marquis de Sade
2 Man of letters
3 Martyr of atheism
4 Sade and the French Revolution
5 Theatres of the body
6 Representations of the feminine
7 Apostle of freedom
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About the author (2005)

John Phillips is Professor of French Literature and Culture at London Metropolitan University. He is the author of a number of books on French literature, including Forbidden Fictions: Pornography and Censorship in Twentieth-Century French Literature and Sade: The Libertine Novels. He iscurrently co-editing The Encyclopedia of Erotic Literature for Routledge.

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