THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM And Other Writings by Marquis de Sade

THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM And Other Writings

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This second definitive presentation (Justine- 1965) has again been expertly edited and translated by Austryn Wainhouse and Richard Seaver, and includes, along with some assorted pieces, the five hundred page ""fragment,"" The 120 Days, which was to be the fulcrum of de Sade's work, his ""crime of love,"" and, more serious admirers contend, his masterwork. Two long introductory essays, particularly the fine one by Simone de Beauvoir, interpret the psychopathology of the man (to Mme. de Beauvoir--his sexuality ""and hence his ethic is the fundamental identity of coition and cruelty"") while that by Pierre Klossowski analyzes the more turbid, destructive forces. Days, moments of erotic horribilia, deal with all kinds of flagellation, befoulment, ""excremental orgies."" It was interestingly enough written in the Bastille and the manuscript, to de Sade's despair, disappeared for many years and was in ""private hands"" until 1935. Mme. de Beauvoir comments on the literary limitations of the work, its ""commonplace"" ridden style, its tedium, its autistic isolation from reality, as well as its lifelessness. This does not detract from the importance of its appearance in this first unexpurgated edition.

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1966
ISBN: 0802130127
Publisher: Grove