Marquis de Sade’s Veiled Social Criticism. The Depravities of Sodom as the Perversities of France

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This work aims to separate de Sade the individual from his image in order to better understand his philosophy regarding the “libertine” status quo on the Ancien Régime in France. By doing so, his prophetic magnum opus, The One Hundred Days of Sodom, is parted from the accretions of misapprehension which have surrounded it and shown as the author intended it to be: a philosophical mirror by which France would recognize its foibles and its errant ways.


“ . . . we come to see why and how de Sade’s work, principally Les Cent vingt journées de Sodome, inspired, disgusted, and ultimately, enlightened, the many readers of this bizarre yet prophetic work. . . .Donatien Alphonse-François was many perhaps contradictory things after all: libertine, philosopher, historian, social critic, prophet—but Weiss has the intellectual envergure, as the French would say, to present himself to us in his full, rich, strident, and memorable glory.” – Dr. Holbrook Robinson, Department of Modern Languages, Northeastern University

“It is an approach to Sade that needs more public airing and [the author] has made an important contribution to this.” - Dr. Gerald Herman, Assistant Professor, Northeastern University

“. . .a rewarding read, rich in textual references , boasting thorough notations and a wide variety of reference works. . . .This was not just a study of a secluded and sordid chateau, it was a study of the French as a people formed by their traditions.” - Richard B. Burgess, retired teacher of French, Needham High School, MA

Table of Contents

My Biography
1 A Calculated Risk: Pursuing the Deeper Matter
2 Who is Responsible and Who is Penalized
3 Chronos Eating His Children: Auguries in Plain Sight Left Unseen
4 What Is the True Value of Faith and Hope?
5 Conclusion
Texts Primary
Texts Secondary
Name Index

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