Must We Burn de Sade?


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On the other hand there were those who defended De Sade, those who admired his unique view on society. One of the defenders was the French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir. The answer, she quickly reveals, is yes. His philosophy however, could still be very useful. She sees him as the ultimate fighter for freedom. At times it feels a bit far-fetched. His open atheism, homosexuality and stance against capital punishment were indeed extremely progressive for 18th century standards. Painting him as a philosophical hero may go too far.

If you want a realistic, conventional biography of De Sade and his works, this essay will not be very interesting.


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There are simply too many assumptions for a serious psychological profile. It does however, give a unique view of this man; one that may not be entirely realistic, but is nevertheless an intriguing one. Jul 22, Yves rated it it was amazing Shelves: , classics-and-more , knowledge , darkandtwisted. Bastante interesante. Simone de Beauvoir nos trata de explicar como El Marques de Sade pensaba, nos ayuda a interpretar todo lo que dice en sus libros. Simone de Beauvoir attempts to explain de Sade's thinking.

There are some perceptive comments by her and interesting biographical details from what we know of his life. It probably helps to read most of his novels before reading this otherwise it can seem complicated and does contain plot spoilers. Nov 15, Cristina rated it really liked it Shelves: francesa , ensayo. El ensayo de Beauvoir vale la pena. This is actually a pretty good book and an interesting perspective on de Sade.

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The translation however is terrible. The translator chose not to translate paragraphs that were 'too obscene', which leaves large chunks of the page in French. On the plus side I've learned a lot of new French words for various anatomical bits. I would prefer not to. Nov 13, Omololu Adeniran rated it it was amazing. Whatever you've heard about the Marquis de Sade Sadism, sadist and other derivations come from him , he was infinitely worse. He wrote explicitly to shock and to corrupt; a man so depraved that he was tossed in the Bastille for 11 years, and then an asylum.

What Simone de Beauvoir has done in this magnificent essay is to carry out a judicious and thorough inquest, free of morality and cant, to the very soul of the Marquis: Why he was so antagonistic towards religion, why he held that the highes Whatever you've heard about the Marquis de Sade Sadism, sadist and other derivations come from him , he was infinitely worse. What Simone de Beauvoir has done in this magnificent essay is to carry out a judicious and thorough inquest, free of morality and cant, to the very soul of the Marquis: Why he was so antagonistic towards religion, why he held that the highest pinnacle of human achievement was the libertine's, and if or why he really carried out the gore and decadence of his writings in his actual life.

The reason for his tastes is obscure, but we can understand how he erected these tastes into principles, and why he carried them to the point of fanaticism. Everything so far indicates a personality well beyond the Freudian pale. H Auden It might interest a certain mind to know that in December , the author of ' days of Sodom' in his role as Grand Juror, was imprisoned by the Revolutionary government during the terror, for charges of 'moderatism'.

The foulest libertine the world has ever known was a He had a conscience, and committed the unpardonable act of tempering justice with mercy, refusing to condemn the family of Madame de Montreuil. I never would. That, in my opinion is the real merit of this work. Simone de Beauvoir treats de Sade with the complexity he deserves. With the bare facts out of the way, would I recommend reading Marquis de Sade? Well, Simone de Beauvoir has done the hard reading for all of us.

I 'tried' reading also, fearing a certain intellectual timidity in not reading a work because of its crudity. I've read his "Dialogue between a Priest and a dying man", and found it wanting, save a few witty repartees consisting mainly of the marquis rehashing old Materialist arguments against religion that had existed since Hume, and probably prior. But when I tried to tackle "Justine; or Philosophy in the bedroom", I couldn't get past half-way, and even that was a struggle.

I've read, and enjoyed Oscar Wilde — and Wilde was as decadent as the best of them — so I didn't think I could really be shocked by anything in literature. But "Justine" actually offended my natural Christian sensibilities - and I'm not even religious. What he says in that book, I won't reprint here.

Inquiring minds might wonder, and I say good luck to you brother. Albert Camus died in a car accident on his way to the train station - train ticket in his pocket. Leon Trotsky, Russian Revolutionary, Old Bolshevik, intellectual and 'the greatest jew since Christ', died in Mexico, his head slashed open with a pick axe by one of Stalin's agents - a death fitting of a radical revolutionary.

And the Marquis de Sade? The unabashed enemy of innocence; sexual theorist, libertine, SADIST and relentless religious antagonist; what does he get for all his mischief? He dies peacefully in an asylum next to a female admirer who had spent the previous thirteen years pretending to be his daughter. C'est La Vie. Oct 27, Claudio Valverde rated it it was amazing. Sade subordin su existencia al erotismo. En resumen, lectura muy interesante. A distruptive man's vision by a distruptive woman's analysis. Dec 02, Czarny Pies rated it liked it Recommends it for: Anyone interested in de Sade or libertine literature.

Shelves: french-lit. I recently recommended Justine as a jest to several good reads friends. In fact leaping into de Sade would be a very bad idea. This book by Simone de Beauvoir however provides an excellent introduction to the Sade phenomenon and in fact makes a very good substitute for actual reading anything by the mentally deranged Marquis de Sade. Interesting essays, but it would have added an extra layer if some background information had been given. To put the text in perspective.


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I enjoyed the literature essays the most, and the essay on Sade was thought provoking. I'll probably look for more to read from Beauvoir.


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  7. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. In the end, it comes down to the purpose you have for lookin As a previous reviewer has noted, this collection of essays is of mixed value. In the end, it comes down to the purpose you have for looking to this collection. If you want a wider understanding of the interpretive value of Sade's works, then this collection is useful. That being said, for my own use I found some of the pieces to be less than useful, and a few I did not even read.

    Must We Burn Sade?

    What follows is a short explication of the import of a handful of the collected pieces: Sawhney's opening essay, "Unmasking Sade," does an adequate job of setting the stage for the rest of the work to be done by this collection: to tear apart the mythical mask surrounding Sade's works in attempts at engaging with what these works really imply and demand. He alights upon the import of the Sadean question - that of the human essence, its monstrosity, and the relation between the world of his works and our own trans-fictional world. Is the gap really so large? Lingis' "Deadly Pleasures" is the most valuable work in the collection.

    He highlights the interrelationality of God, language, and sex, and their attendent norms which work to inhibit and constrain our differential passions. Expanding upon the work of Klossowski on Sade Lingis being the English translator of his Sade, my Neighbor , Lingis expands upon the unspeakable black hole of the sodomite existence - the trangessive act and existence par excellence, which rends open the field for differential possibilities unto the impossible itself ; Sade, then, as a destructive creator behind the thinking of the unthinkable negativity which creates the space for alterity through the negation of divine Creation, and thus of its laws and authority.

    Philippe Sollers publication of one of Sade's letters that had been withheld from general knowledge and publication up until , is very informative as to Sade's understanding of the French Revolution. While an essentially revolutionary figure, whose essence was infinite revolt, Sade despised the Revolution.

    This letter details how the French ridded themselves of the God of Chirstianity only to replace it with the Supreme Being, the God of Reason, which, he thinks, is inifnitely worse.

    Must We Burn Sade? by Deepak Narang Sawhney, Simone de Beauvoir |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble®

    At least with Christianity there remained a hint of pagan spirit sublimated within it. With this new cult, however, all passion which, for Sade, is the essential fundament of existence is lost - the cold calculations of reason alone are all that remain. In this vein, Sade lays forth the essential intention of his work - to disclose to humanity its own monstrosity, that humanity is the passionate animal, the monstrous animal, and not the rational animal of the metaphysical tradition.

    Welchman's piece, "Differential Practices," provides an interesting interpretation of Sade's writing as a disruptive discursive act which performs the interruption of the ordered functionings of the discursive formation, necessitating a reconfiguration and reformation of discourse to account for such works.

    Sade's writings function differentially to open up a transformation of discursive possibility - not only of what can be said, but of what can be done; what is right and wrong, how we can act and perform the figuraitve role of being. Cussett's work speaks to the ficticity inherent in the libertine action - the necessity of their repositing God's existence so as to transgress it.

    This furious work of creation and destruction works to get nowhere, and yet it is an infinitely vibrating motion - the motion of an inifnite desire, a desire for the infinite.

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    Fictively, through this infinitely repeatable game, the libertine becomes divine. But, by this very turn, they also commit themselves to nothingness, to disappearance, amd to failure. In "Transgression and Its Itinerary," Allison lays out the non- concept of transgression, amd then itineraries its functioning in the works of Sade.

    This disclosure evinces the radicality of Sade's writings - not simply morally radical, but upending society, humanity, amd even nature itself. All absolutes and universals crumble under this transgressive force which is the negative essence of our very being as possibility - possibility itself being delimited through the motion of transgression.

    Ficticity is exposed in its primal functioning, the imagination laid bare as the source of all law, as the faculty for the infinite furtherance of desire. Acker's piece falls short of the mark, in my eyes. She appears to get too wrapped up in binary mis conceptions. Sade does work to dissolve the "male gaze" of speculative knowledge, yes. Bit I disagree that he falls back into the labyrinthian problem. Email or Customer ID. Forgot password? Old Password. New Password. Password Changed Successfully Your password has been changed. Returning user. Request Username Can't sign in? Forgot your username?

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