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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Justine by Marquis De Sade

The Marquis De Sade

Justine, Or Good Conduct Well Chastened
by Marquis De Sade
published 1791
Read on Amazon Kindle

  Let me tell you something, compared to the other book that Marquis De Sade placed on the 2006 edition of 1001 Books To Read Before You Die- 120 Days of Sodom- Justine is tame stuff indeed.  To call Justine tame in comparison to the 120 Days of Sodom is not to say that it is tame by 18th century standards (or even by modern standards) - it's simply tame in comparison to the graphic sex and violence of 120 Days of Sodom.
Justine by Marquis De Sade was mad into a film with Klaus Kinski and Jack Palance

  Justine is basically De Sade's take on Samuel Richardson's Pamela.  Pamela's subheading is "On good virtue being well rewarded." so De Sade is inverting that formula.  In Pamela, the titular heroine holds out against the rapey Master of the house until he marries her.  In Justine, the heroine tries to be good but is rewarded for her goodness with basically constant Rape and abuse.  The most telling parts of Justine are when her abusers justify themselves with high flown philosophical ideas while doing things like raping her repeatedly.  In that way, Justine can be read as a satire or parody of enlightenment ideology in a way that 120 Days of Sodom can not.

   With Justine finished I'm down to the last four novels from the 1700s left in the 2006 edition of the 1001 Books To Read Before You Die book.  As it turns out, I still have my copy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's confessions that I must have read in high school, but I'm going to re-read it, because that's how I roll.  It also looks like I need to write reviews of four more books that I read but never reviewed.  But still, the end is near.  So close, I can almost taste it.

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