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Introducing Marquis De Sade Paperback – August 31, 1995

8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Introducing
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Totem Books (August 31, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840460717
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840460711
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #665,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Campbell Roark on April 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'm writing this to balance out the nay-saying. I think the Totem series is fairly hit or miss. It depends on whomever is handling the info. For example, their `Introducing Machiavelli' and `Introducing Descartes,' are remarkably wonderful. Then you have, `Introducing Postmodernism,' and `Introducing Baudrilliard,' both of which suck, in my humble opinion. I don't know- the closer that Totem gets to the 20th C, the more they tend to fail... Their books on Wittgenstein and Nietzsche, for example, are on the good side of decent... With Foucault, Heidegger and Barthes, they really loose some steam (surprisingly, I like the Deridda book immensely, which stands out...)
`Introducing De Sade' stands easily in the former category. It's simply great! It is a dense, worthwhile and illuminating effort that succeeds in every way. It puts the man in his Enlightenment context, contrasting him with other thinkers of his era. It gives a thorough biographical account of his life and his work's chronological development. It also handles later writer's use and misuse of De Sade.
I'm a big fan of this book for a number of reasons.
1. There isn't much out there on De Sade that provides a suitable introduction to him (and his novels are nigh-unendurable, in terms of their tedious repetitions and long-winded philosophical discourse. You HAVE to be in it for the long haul to plod through them).
2. De Sade is still a very neglected thinker, despite the fact that he was honest and highly original. This book looks at each of his main works and seeks to understand them on their own ground. Then it attempts to flesh out the underlying systematic philosophy behind the pornography, succeeding admirably I think.
Ultimately, I just don't understand all the negative reviews.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Patrick S. Garner on January 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
I recomend this book to anyone who is interested in the Marquis de Sade. I read it after I'd already read his four major novels, and a biography on him, and still found it a delightful read. The book provides a detailed biography on the Marquis, and covers and discusses indepth the messages the Marquis was trying to get accross in his four major novels, as well as his infamous dialogue "Confessions Between a Priest and a Dying Man." The book also briefly touches on famous people who were inspired by de Sade, and how his work continues to effect the modern age. Introducing the Marquis de Sade is brilliantly illustrated with humerous and fun pictorials of the Marquis, people in his life, and scenes from his works. The illustrations often involve scenes of sadomasochism and masturbation, so be warned.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia on January 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
I've just completed this book. I do feel it was extremely helpful in providing me with an overall introduction to Sade, and also in helping me to determine whether or not I wish to pursue the man and his writings.
While I consider myself an eclectic freethinker, I don't go in for something "just because" it may be vastly unusual or "off the wall." In short, Sade's sexuality isn't my cup of tea. He seems to presume that his sexuality was easily anyone's cup of tea, given that the characters portrayed in his novels seem to either instantly like to be humiliated and subjected to pain, or that they don't mind one way or the other (yeah, right). Stuart Hood, the author of this book, points out that Sade's descriptions of sexual encounters are "cold and mechanical." Sexuality for many people may be simple fulfillment of lust (nothing wrong with that, btw), but for many others as well there must be a component of affection, tenderness, and warmth (I'm in the latter category). The most peculiar aspect of Sade's sexual attitudes are the seeming misanthropy of it all; it's as if his characters are absolutely hateful and cold schemers, who set about projecting their self-loathing onto others. How would these stories have been viewed if it were animals subjected to these sorts of situations instead of young human females and males?
Most disturbing to me is Sade's justification of murder. If done in a SELF-DEFENSIVE situation, murder can be justified. But Sade seems to have thought that "just plain" murder was okay, as it serves as part of Nature's destructive aspect.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read this book in preparation for directing a stage production of "Quills", a play based on the Marquis de Sade. Overall, It was worth the money. I had to go a lot further with my studies, but this book was a good primer, because it condensed his life into a quick read. If you just want an opening impression of the man and the myth, I would recommend this book. If you want a more critical analysis of his work you will need to look elsewhere.
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