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 f
The 120 Days of Sodom and Other Writings
I wanted to contribute a review to correct some of the impressions readers may have gotten from other customers' reviews of 120 Days of Sodom. First of all, I do regard 120 Days as a masterpiece -- Sade's only masterpiece, and a dazzling contribution to world literature. I will spend the rest of this review hopefully providing 120 Day's future readers some keys to appreciate this mammoth, peculiar novel.
120 days is shocking, horrifying -- disgusting. This is pretty well universally agreed upon. This in itself says quite a lot. We live in a world where "shocking" has lost much of its meaning. Yet the Marquis De Sade continues to shock our jaded, supposedly unshockable sensibilities; if we want to read this book well, it's worth asking ourselves why. As Simone De Beauvoir says in her introduction to this edition, Sade was a good novelist -- and a great moralist.
One thing Sade definitely was not was a proselytizer for sexual freedom. The recent move "Quills" -- while not...
The 120 Days of Sodom and Other Writings is one of best selling in Classics category.