120 Days of Sodom and Other Writings, The

Marquis De Sade
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 first systematic exploration-a hundred years before Krafft-Ebing and Freud-of the psychology of sex, it is considered Sade's crowning achievement and the cornerstone of his thought. Lost after the storming of the Bastille in 1789, it was later retrieved but remained unpublished until 1935.In addition to The 120 Days, this volume includes Sade's "Reflections on the Novel," his play Oxtiem, and his novella Ernestine. The selections are introduced by Simone de Beauvoir's landmark essay "Must We Burn Sade?" and Pierre Klossowski's provocative "Nature as Destructive Principle." "Imperious, choleric, irascible, extreme in everything, with a dissolute imagination the like of which has never been seen, atheistic to the point of fanaticism, there you have me in a nutshell, and kill me again or take me as I am, for I shall not change."-From Sade's Last Will and Testament


Reviewed: 2016-06-24

I bought this book a while ago, and a couple weeks ago I decided to pick it up and read it... I did, but with much skippage for sanity's sake.

Now, I will admit that I have a bit of a morbid fascination with someone who has a term for a deviant trait named after them. I picked up this book thinking that, yes, it would be unconventional and probably not exactly pleasant reading material, but also that it would be something of a look into the man himself, even if it is fiction... Oh, let us hope this is fiction.

Instead, I found myself reading something more along the lines of a grocery list or a how-to manual for everything inconceivably nasty to everyone except the messed up dude that wrote it.

Now, I'm no wimp. Blood and guts do not bother me. I do have a "thing" about broken bones, but only if I can see it or hear it, or if it's described in detail with bone chips flying, etc. Mutilations and the like aren't an issue for me. Sexual "adventures" aren't an issue for me. I have a pretty strong stomach when it comes to most things, but this book is disgusting.

This book somehow manages to combine all the nastiness in the world into one book. The things that these men ate and drank alone was enough to have me puking. But they'd probably like that. If it comes out of your body, the people in this book would eat it. This includes such delicacies as: Shit, menstrual blood, vomit, urine, semen... Tasty! And that's just what they voluntarily ingest; I had no idea some of the other fun stuff that could be done with a nice firm turd. *shudder*

As fun as that first section was, the middle and the last sections got exponentially more entertaining, until we enter the realm of "One Upmanship, Sexual Mutilation and Torture Style". A laundry list of atrocities that I could have done without.

I'm against book-banning on general principles... But wow. Not a bad "For" argument here.

Edit to add:
Whoops! Allison reminded me that I forgot to add in my measurement for the disgusticity of this book. New word, too. Cool. Anyway, so I told her this book is "Off the map disgusting" and now I'm including it in the review, per her request.

Here's the map:




.................................... Here's 120 Days of Sodom: X
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