Talk:Marquis de Sade

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First, Philosophy in the Bedroom is invariably a mistake. The French title is Le Philosophe dans le Boudoir. "Le Philosophe" translates as "The Philosopher", Philosophy (which is "philosophie" in French) is not in the title. Thus, it should read: The Philosopher in the Bedroom.

Second, I believe I can prove that Les 120 Jours de Sodome (The 120 Days of Sodom) (henceforth: 120 Days)was NOT written by the Marquis de Sade. According to Geoffrey Gorer, the manuscript was written in 1784 on both sides of a single roll of paper 5-1/2-inchs wide and thirty-some yards long. Sade wrote it when in the Bastille. He was transferred to another prisin in less than ten doors before The Fall of the Bastille, in 1789. He neglected to take the manuscript with him. It was discovered by a man who helped perpetrate The Fall; the manuscript remained in his family until brought to the attention of Iwan Bloch in about 1895, who subsequently published it.

First, there is internal evidence. The writing is totally unlike everything else Sade ever wrote. It is very carefully structured. For example, urination. The first depiction is merely watching a girl urinate, followed by having a girl urinate on a man's hand, the, urinating on his naked body, and finally, drinking urine. Throughout the book, each variety of sexual experience follows that same pattern--watching, touching, being inundated, oral participation. It was not until Forberg's (De Veneris--the final word escapes me), published in about 1835, that sexuality was categorized. Even Kraft-Ebbing (around 1870) is not categorized. Havelock Ellis' Pscychology of Sex categorizes sexual variations--but not nearly as distinctly as is done in 120 Days.

Freud, Kinsey, Albert Ellis and Masters & Johnson utilized a categorical approach to sexuality. But, please note, that absolutely none of Sade's works follow this categorical layout.

In 1784, Sade wrote "The Priest and the Dying Man", in which he states quite clearly that there is no God. But, in 120 Days--God is portrayed as weak and senile. Contrary to every other mention of God in Sade's other works.

In 120 Days, the author states that there are some actions so terrible that they should never be discussed openly. In Julitte, Sade states that there is NO human act so terrible that it should not be brought forth to the light of day. Granted, it could simply indicate a change of philosophy as he matured.

In 120 Days, there is NO vaginal intercourse of any type. The characters abhor the vagina. Every other orifice is described (in vivid detail). In all of Sade's other writings, where he describes the vagina, it is with lusty enthusiasm. Again, this might simply be a change with maturation.

The name of the family which supposedly saved the manuscript is not known. This, of course, COULD BE because they did not wish to be connected to such a nefarious manuscript. OR--it COULD BE because there is no such family.

I decided to do some research on paper. Paper was first, experimentally, produced in a roll in France in 1803. Rolls of paper were not commercially available until 1820--six years after the death of the Marquis de Sade.

So, who IS the author of 120 Days. I would guess Iwan Bloch (or some acquaintance). I find it interesting that 120 Days is generally considered to be Sade's greatest work. Some of Sade's letters are still extant. If the manuscript of 120 Days still exists, I believe an examination by one or more handwriting experts should be undertaken.

I rest my case.

Julian Tebye

In response to Tebye,

First, the original title is 'La philosophie dans le boudoir', which translates literally to 'The Philosophy in the bedroom'. You seem to have misread the original French. Second, Marquis de Sade's writing style has inarguably changed over time. Earlier works are more often the ones to be experimented with the most until an author finds his or her style. In 120 Days, de Sade often contradicts his words in the very work itself, so contradiction with other works are irrelevant. Finally, paper scrolls have been in existence long before de Sade. I applaud an effort in questioning 120 Days of Sodom’s authorship, for the history of it is indeed dodgy. But it seems that no scholars have called the manuscript’s authorship into question. It is almost certainly the work of the Marquis de Sade.


quality of the translations[edit]

first off, why are only a third of the quotations presented along side originals ? this doesn't make any sense.

what is more important though are the questionable equivalents found for an older bit of sexual slang, namely 'vit', which is here rendered two different ways. "Member" or "male member" are probably better translations.


  • What does one want when one is engaged in the sexual act? That everything around you give you its utter attention, think only of you, care only for you...every man wants to be a tyrant when he fornicates.
 Attributed to Philosophy in the Bedroom  Jbgfour (talk) 17:36, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
  • At all times, in every century, every age, there has been such a connection between despotism and religion that it is infinitely apparent and demonstrated a thousand times over, that in destroying one, the other must be undermined, for the simple reason that the first will always put the law into the service of the second.
  • Chimerical and empty being, your name alone has caused more blood to flow on the face of the earth than any political war ever will. Return to the nothingness from which the mad hope and ridiculous fright of men dared call you forth to their misfortune. You only appeared as a torment for the human race. What crimes would have been spared the world, if they had choked the first imbecile who thought of speaking of you.
    • On religion
  • Crime is the soul of lust. What would pleasure be if it were not accompanied by crime? It is not the object of debauchery that excites us, rather the idea of evil.
  • Friends are like women: when put to the test, the goods often prove defective.
  • Imperious, choleric, irascible, extreme in everything, with a dissolute imagination the like of which has never been seen, atheistic to the point of fanaticism, there you have me in a nutshell, and kill me again or take me as I am, for I shall not change.
    • Last Will and Testament Encyclopedia of Censorship
By Jonathon Green, Nicholas J. Karolides Jbgfour (talk) 08:32, 16 December 2015 (UTC)

Checking the French sources, including Wiki, all show this to be from a September 1783 letter to his wife when he was in the Bastille. « Le plus honnête, le plus franc et le plus délicat des hommes, le plus compatissant, le plus bienfaisant, idolâtre de mes enfants, pour le bonheur desquels je me mettrais au feu (…) Voilà mes vertus. Pour quant à mes vices : impérieux, colère, emporté, extrême en tout, d'un dérèglement d'imagination sur les mœurs qui de la vie n'a eu son pareil, athée jusqu'au fanatisme, en deux mots me voilà, et encore un coup, ou tuez-moi ou prenez-moi comme cela ; car je ne changerai pas » If that showed up in his will is dubious. The "again" is not kill me again, but a repetition of a theme, once again, kill me for I will not change. Jbgfour (talk) 22:22, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

  • Let us give ourselves indiscriminately to everything our passions suggest, and we will always be happy... Conscience is not the voice of Nature but only the voice of prejudice.
  • One must do violence to the object of one's desire; when it surrenders, the pleasure is greater.
  • Sex is as important as eating or drinking and we ought to allow the one appetite to be satisfied with as little restraint or false modesty as the other.
  • Sex without pain is like food without taste.
  • Social order at the expense of liberty is hardly a bargain.
  • To kill a man in a paroxysm of passion is understandable, but to have him killed by someone else after calm and serious meditation and on the pretext of duty honourably discharged is incomprehensible.