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Marquis de Sade

Social relevance and literary influence continue to mark the posthumous career of Donatien Alphonse Francois de Sade, MARQUIS DE SADE (1740-1814), author of Juliette, or the Prosperities of Vice, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and other works.

ALINE and VALCOUR or, the Philosophical Novel

How can I say it? How soften the blow I must inflict? My senses are confused, reason leaves me, I exist here and now only through pain and sorrow...

Two Extracts from Aline and Valcour

No surprise that Sade would defend what came to be known as homosexuality but his reasoned defense of it is unusual for its rejection of nurture or upbringing as its cause in favor of what would within a couple of centuries be largely acknowledged as owing to inborn biological or constitutional features. From the character known as Sarmiento, a thoroughly unpleasant Portuguese adventurer who has gone native in Africa, a hundred years before Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2023

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