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2 JUNE 1740 – 2 DECEMBER 1814

Vortrag von Konstanza Tage der Tantrischen Gruppen, Ližnjan, April 2012

His Life: sacandals – imprisonments – sentence to death – political engagements

His Writings: fascinating and repellent
Reception and Key Philosophical Ideas „satanic” or „divine” de Sade? Why should we deal with de Sade?

Yes, I am a libertine, I admit it freely. I have dreamed of doing everything that it is possible to dream of in that line. But I have certainly not done all the things I have dreamt of and never shall. Libertine I may be, but I am not a criminal, I am not a murderer. -- The Marquis de Sade

aristrocrat familly  1763 married: 2 sons. 1 daughter  His own familly condemned him  Not until 1940 – Comte Xavier de Sade initiated investigation .MARQUIS DE SADE‘S LIFE  32 years of the 74 of his life spent in prison  Born in Paris. educated Christian.

case „Rose Keller”  Sade‘s mother in law obtained a lettre de cachet from the king  1772 (32) – sentenced to death in absentia for sodomy and poisoning – flight to Italy  Imprisoned and ecaped .S C A N DA L S A N D I M P R I S O N M E N T S I  1763 (23) – several short imprisonments because of sexual mistreatment of prostitutes  1768 (28) – exiled to his chateau at Lacoste  1768 – first major scandal.

returned to Lacoste 1777 – imprisoned in the Chateau de Vincennes 1778 – successfully appealed his death sentence but remained imprisoned – escaping and being recaptured 1784 – transferred to the Bastille 1786 – transferred to the insane asylum at Charenton 1790 (50) – released and divorced .S C A N DA L S A N D I M P R I S O N M E N T S I I 1776 .



SHORT FREEDOM AND POLITICS 1790 – 1803: time of „freedom” Published several books 1790 – until death 1814: relationship with Constance Quesent 1790 – elected to the National Convention 1793 – removed and imprisoned because critics to Robespierre 1794 – released after the execution of Robespierre .

IMPRISONMENTS FOR HIS WRITINGS 1801 (61) – Napoleon Bonaparte ordered the arrest 1803 – declared insane and transferred to the asylum at Charenton (Constance lived there with him until his death) Staged several plays with inmates as actors 1809 – deprivation of pens and paper (!) Sexual relationship with Madeleine Leclerc (13) .

NAOPLEON BONAPARTE Throwing into fire Marquis des Sades „Justine” .

PORTRAIT IMAGINAIRE DU XIXE SIÈCLE Sade soumis aux quatre vents des suggestions diaboliques .

PSYCHIATRY Hospital de Charenton .


for example. sadomasochism and pedophilia  Focus on dark side of human nature: With 120 Days. Sade wished to present "the most impure tale that has ever been written since the world exists." .MARQUIS DE SADE‘S WRITINGS  Tagged under many different titles  Gothic novel?  Stunning issues of sexual violence.

PROSE (CHOICE)  Dialogue between a priest and a dying man (1782 / 1926)  The 120 Days of Sodom or the School of Licentiousness (1785 / 1904)  Justine – Les Infortunes de la vertu (1787 /1930)  Aline and valcour or philosophical roman (1788 / 1791)  Philosophy in the Bedroom (1795)  Juliette or vice Amply Rewarded (1797)  The Crimes of Love (1800) .

OTHERS  Hitoriettes  Essays  Plays  Political pamphlets  Letters and personal notes posthumously published .

judges. bankers – raping. no standard version Napoleon called Justine "the most abominable book ever engendered by the most depraved imagination" Destruction of the book ordered 1815 Offenders: monks. tortuing the virtuous Justine. who never gives up in being virtuous .JUSTINE OR THE MISFORTUNES OF VIRTUE Classic novel.




1955 still French authorities wanted to destroy it  Written in the Bastille .T H E 1 2 0 DAY S O F S O D O M OR THE SCHOOL OF LIBERTINISM  Novel  The work remained unpublished until the 20th century – 1904 by the Berlin psychiatrist Iwan Bloch: equated it with Krafft-Ebbings Psychopathia Sexualis (1886)  Due to its topics of sexual violence and extreme cruelty it has often been banned.

4 studs  Simple passions – complex passions – criminal passions – murderous passions  The manner in which sexual fetishes are developed.T H E 1 2 0 DAY S O F S O D O M  Offenders: aristocrat. banker  Victims: daughters of the offenders. judge. 8 boys and girls 12-15 years old. 4 elderly women. number of recurring figures  Film adaptations . bishop.

..and found again in the Bastille ..ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT Les 120 Journees de Sodome 12m long 11cm wide Partially readable only with lupe Lost in the Bastille. ..

RECEPTION AND KEY PHILOSOPHICAL IDEAS „SATANIC” OR „DIVINE” DE SADE ?  Man is governed by his nature  Man can only exhibit and enjoy to the full his true nature when he is freed from all moral and social restraints  Man's artificial laws dictate what was right and wrong  The crime of the Marquis de Sade was not what he did. but that he spoke of it publicly. .

are both for the sake of pleasure  The will to power is the will to pleasure . as being the only true ruler of man  the pursuit of virtue. as well as that of vice.PHILOSOPHICAL IDEAS IN „JUSTINE”  going against accepted tradition  the subjectivity of virtue and vice  the pursuit of desire and the consequences of it  the evils of absolutism for either the purposes of good or evil  Nature.

the justice system and most major institutions  the respective roles of the sexes  the necessity of reliance upon others (appropriate as De Sade advocated a form of utopian socialism. at least later in life) .POLITICAL IDEAS IN „JUSTINE”  the hierarchy and inequalities within a class system  the corruption of the church.

MODERN RECEPTION  Geoffrey Gorer – the first reasoned socialist  Simone de Beauvoir – radical philosophy of freedom. focus on sexuality as motive force  Guillaume Apollinaire – „the freest spirit that has ever existed”  Pierre Klossowski – precursor of nihilism  Jacques Lacan – „Kant avec Sade”  Camille Paglia – Sade is responding to Rousseau  Feminist reading of Sade .

ERICH KÖHLER – PROFESSOR OF FRENCH LITERATURE  Sade´s occupation with MORALITY  Sade´s negative teodicy = justification of an „evil God“ THEODICY: attempt to resolve the evidential problem of evil by reconciling God's traditional characteristics of all-loving.  Justine – an apothesis of virtue and innocence  If he had written philosophical essays he would not have been condemned . all-powerful. and all-knowing with the occurrence of evil in the world.

 The GOD of the religions cannot exist  Contradictory positions: individual joy is based on the joy of others  the biggest misery of others causes the biggest individual pleasure  Idee du Mal  To derive „sadism“ from Sade was a mistake .

fanatic priests. . autarcic economy. no property. no religion. all historic defects of mankind united  Positiv utopia for whole Europe: no class-system. no death-sentence. no prisons. despotism.S TA T E A N D S O C I E T Y  Central problem: the evil  Moralty of the atheists is superior to the religious one´s  Negative utopia: tyranny. no money – only barter trade. equality of men and women. no luxery.

 120 Days of Sodom is the Metaphora for the tortuing and burning of witches through Chatholic church and the state  1885 still burning of witches in France .



he visualised „hell“  You can only transcendend what you know  Absolute evil – and by implication – absolute innocence: some readers write about the religious experience of reading de Sade . the raper. the murderer in each of us  Sade articulated the dark side of humanity and also the worst fears.WHY SHOULD WE DEAL WITH DE SADE?  The tyrann.

(short) feeling of unity through destroying the other being and melting with the liberating life force in contrary to:  Love .desintegration of the Ego through Pain and Destruction .TA N T R I C .(long-lasting) feeling of unity through giving oneself to the other being and melting with the all-pervading life force .desintegration of the Ego through Love and Creation .S P I R I T UA L I N T E R P R E TA T I O N BY MAKAJA (120 Days of Sodom)  Sex-hate .

S P I R I T UA L I N T E R P R E TA T I O N B Y M A K A JA ( Ju s t i n e )  Demon of ascetizm and demon of hedonizm = 2 faces of destruction and death  Demon of ascetizm: breaking the flow of Holy Spirit through the physical body – human gets weak Demon of hedonizm: taking so much as possible energy and puting out through sexual organ – human kills oneself .TA N T R I C .