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Philosophy in the Boudoir: Or, The Immoral Mentors (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Deluxe Edition
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I bought this book to check my reading of the original on occasion when sentences were particularly convoluted (Sade writes in an ironically formal Ancien Régime style of French). I was astonished to find gobs of mistakes in this English translation. I'm not exaggerating, there are three mistakes in a single paragraph on the latest page I've read, p. 151, the one starting with "Yes, Chevalier, you are saying...". Here they are to give you a taste.
1) "within you" : Should be "within me"!
2) "Do you smother remorse through your principles when you feel its goads" : Should be "May you smother (or just smother) ... if you ..."
3) "Will you manage to repent a misdeed of indifference that you have thoroughly penetrated?" This sentence is nonsensical as it is translated! It should be something like : "Could it be possible for you to repent an act being thoroughly penetrated by an indifference of it?"
This is only one paragraph. There are countless other mistakes strewn about.
I'm not familiar with other translations yet, but if you are concerned about fidelity to the original, I would advise you to steer away from this one. In spite of the fancy cover, the contents are greatly disappointing.
That said, if you're only interested in the sex tableaux, fidelity is not necessary and the translation is sufficient :-P
And if you want something similar but modern search for Michel Houellebecq...
Instead, purchase the translation by Seaver & Wainhouse: http://www.amazon.com/Justine-Philosophy-Bedroom-Other-Writings/dp/0802132189/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1393869614&sr=8-1 I rate this translation 5 stars. Also, that translation includes the very important work Justine, and other significant writings and letters by Sade. Buy it, you won't regret it.
Highly educated, sophisticated and eloquent, de Sade sets out to present his philisophy to the general public of his time. If one can get past de Sade's unrepressed desires one can learn about Marquis' opinions about personal freedom, his resistance towards institution of marriage, his dislike of possession (human, monetary, material and otherwise), Marquis' strong atheist beliefs. There is no doubt that Marquis finds morality to be relative and he sets the record straight on his stand on issues such as death penalty, murder, theft, incest, rape, etc. His arguments are strong and carefully composed. They are also way ahead of his time.
After finishing this work, I can only respect Marquis de Sade more. He is a kind of man willing to take the worst forms of punishment for his personal beliefs. In that respect, Marquis is a principled man, willing to sacrifice himself for the benefit of others. He loaths authority and his strong sense of individuality and quest for personal freedom is such that once can rarely find these days. De Sade is imortal in his own way and for no other reason but that one, his work needs to be read, understood and respected for what it is.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is indeed the most hideous garbage ever put to paper. How it has survived for well past 200 years is beyond comprehensible.Published 14 months ago by rob
This book is extremely vulgar, but it seems to be just for shocks sake. It does not have a good plot. Not worth it.Published 18 months ago by Madelyn
Excellent product. However, I received it too late. Almost one month after ordering it.Published on February 25, 2009