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Justine, or the Misfortunes of Virtue (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – January 20, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-0199572847 ISBN-10: 0199572844

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Justine, or the Misfortunes of Virtue (Oxford World's Classics) + Juliette + The 120 Days of Sodom
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (January 20, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199572844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199572847
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Phillips is Emeritus Professor at London Metropolitan University. An authority on Sade, his books include Sade: The Libertine Novels, The Marquis de Sade: A Very Short Introduction, and How to Read Sade.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By marc antony on September 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is sort of a companion novel to Juliette. Justine is Juliette's little sister, and her total opposite. Justine is virginal, pious, and kind. She has a unwavering child-like innocence and optimism that is never truly shattered by the things that she experiences. I kind of lied about the last part because depending on which book one reads, she's either slightly melancholy (Justine) at the end, or she's psychotic and still physically suffering (Juliette).

Anyway,you have Juliette who is everything that a young lady isn't supposed to be, yet she is successful and happy. She's committed [and assisted committing] murder, raped children and adults, knowingly committed incest, had abortions, and she's robbed a few people too. She's an admitted liar, and she'll choose self-preservation over her own children when she feels it necessary. Also, she makes a mockery of religion and sexual prudence. These are the no no's of most Western societies; especially when women are involved. Women are supposed to be delicate and demur flowers, but de Sade points out that it's usually the women who uphold these social mores that end up in really f------ situations. As seen in the novel Justine.

By all accounts, Justine is the sister that is doing everything right. Even when she is destitute, she still holds onto her faith and hope that Providence will deliver her from her situation. When she is offered a way out through becoming a mistress, a prostitute, and a robber, she holds onto her beliefs and says no. She is asked to perform sodomus acts, and while she is tempted, she still says no. As the reader, you're rooting for this character even when you know it's not going to end well.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Vanessa MintVanDi on July 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
"I believe that if there was a God, there would be less evil. If evil exists here below, then it was either not meant by God, or it is beyond his power to prevent it. Now I can't bring myself to believe in a God who is either spiteful or weak. I defy him without fear and care not a fig about his thunderbolts."

In a time and age when Metaphysical poetry prevailed and his contemporaries sought after God in imperfect nature, Marquis de Sade has phrased the so-called Problem of Evil and presented nature as the ultimate power on earth. The agile writer has expressed his innovative thoughts in a vicious and ambiguous quest of virtue, earning his contemporaries' disapproval and hatred. Is Marquis de Sade as putrid as his own era condemned him to be?

The book is filled with arguments in favour of vice, but the only argument against it is Justine's pious and respectful attitude. Justine (or de Sade?) provides absolutely no arguments or whatsoever to justify her fruitless attachment to virtue. The arguments in favour of vice, however are strikingly reasonable and logical; de Sade has so aptly supported them, the book becomes a danger to whoever lays hands on it. He has a way to phrase the most absurdly immoral arguments with so much reason and sense, he may actually lead his readership to acknowledge that maybe he is right, after all.

Justine ou Les Maleurs de la Vertu is de Sade's own answer to his contemporaries' fake morality, as well as the eternal Problem of Evil; it is quite likely that he would very much like to believe in a God, provided there was a God to believe in; a God representing the one and only Truth, the one Divine Element, rather than a God who varies according to the place, the time and people's mercenary interests.
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Format: Kindle Edition

His name is synonymous with the very worst that human beings can be. He plumbs the depths of depravity in his quest for mere titillation; Bad people celebrate his birthday; good people shudder at the mention of his name. He is the Marquis de Sade and I’ve just finished reading “Justine”.

It really is time that I confront de Sade. I call myself a writer of Erotica; indeed, I blushed and trembled with dizzy, giddy pride when the Christian right slammed a “Danger Pornography” notice on my tweets.

But de Sade. He was a French aristocrat, 2nd June 1740—2nd December 1814. A revolutionary politician, famous for his libertine sexuality. His works comprise novels, short stories, plays, dialogues and political tracts. In his lifetime, some were published in his own name, while others appeared anonymously and de Sade denied being their author. He is best known for his erotic works which combine philosophical discourse with pornography, depicting sexual fantasies with an emphasis on violence and blasphemy against the Catholic Church. He was a proponent of extreme freedom unrestrained by morality, religion or law. The words ‘sadist’ and ‘sadism’ are derived from his name.

He was incarcerated in various prisons and in an insane asylum for about 32 years of his life. Many of his works were written in prison. His ethos is focused absolutely on pain and pleasure.

“It is always by way of pain that one arrives at pleasure.”

“I have already told you; the only way to a woman’s heart is along the path of torment. I know none other as sure.
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