Marquis de Sade – The 120 Days of Sodom

Hi all!

I think this is the first book, since I’ve started the blog, that I’m not all that thrilled about. Before reading it I’ve looked through a couple of reviews to know what to expect, but even though I found the reviews accurate, I still felt like something was missing. Maybe a little more psychological presentation, I’m not sure…

Anyway, the first time I’ve heard of Marquis de Sade was at a literature class, while studying a poet who was influenced by him. And since I really liked the poem we were studying, I became curious of the works of Sade. This was actually the first I’ve read from him and the book does justice to its reputation. It’s highly disturbing, with many elements of a brutal, violent and disgusting manner.

The book presents the story of four Frenchmen, the Duc de Blangis, his brother the Bishop, the president de Curval and the banker Durcet, who are very liberal in their way of living and have an interesting view concerning sin and morality.

They decide to partake in a pleasurable experience (pleasurable from their point of view) and with the help of a few procuresses, kidnap eight young boys and girls, and take them, along with more hand picked people, to a secluded property of theirs. Here they spend 120 days, in which they commit horrible deeds of torture.

Each day, one of the four women, brought especially for this, tell five passions, stories from their experience and the four men are only allowed to repeat the deeds from the stories and the ones presented before, keeping “the best” for last. And I think everyone can assume that the best for them is the possible worst for their hopeless victims.

During the story we see Sade’s point of view concerning ethics and morality put into the mouths of his characters, and these ideas are rather interesting.

A thing that I liked was the storytelling, but it was ruined in places because of the language. I understand that it was meant to be demeaning and outspoken and what not, but it just seemed vulgar too me. And I don’t think that was what Sade was aiming for. But apart from that, I really liked the style.

I think it was good that I’ve read this book, because I think Sade is an important figure, and not only in literature, so this is a plus even general knowledge-wise. I’m not sure I would recommend it, because it’s not the sort of book you just recommend. But if you have my weird and morbid curiosity, then be my guest 😀

Oh, and if you didn’t guess it by know, it contains mature content. (for warning’s sake)

If you’d like to read it online, you can find it here: The 120 Days of Sodom.

Next time I’ll be presenting something a bit more decent:  Dumas’ “The Count of Monte Cristo”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read 🙂


7 responses to “Marquis de Sade – The 120 Days of Sodom

  1. This really shouldn’t have been your introduction to the Marquis de Sade. He does a lot of complicated in this novel that stand out a lot more after you’ve read stuff like “Philosophy in the Bedroom,” “Justine,” or Simone de Beauvoir’s article “Must We Burn Sade?”. For instance, he doesn’t believe some of the things that he has his characters say in this book, but follows others as well as finds a lot of the actions he describes to be disgusting.

    • That’s interesting to know, thank you for your comment.
      The review I’ve read that was attached to the copy I’ve found stated that this is one of his most important books because he puts his ideas in the mouths of his characters and this way we may learn a little bit about the author as well. But if you’re saying this is not the case, I’ll definitely look into it, so thank you for the recommendations 🙂

  2. He puts his ideas in the words of all of his protagonists/anti-heroes, but at the same time also puts in ideas that he doesn’t necessarily agree with as well. A lot of his discussions, especially within “The 120 Days…” are his attempts to reconcile his philosophy presenting itself in its most extreme form.

  3. Arwen

    He was a strange rich guy that is for sure. There is a banned movie called Salo 120 Days of Sodom which takes this story but puts it in the setting of World War 2 Italy. One thing that suprises me is how this guy managed to keep his head from being cut off during the French Revolution. After all the starving French mob had a bone to pick with the luxary living aristocrates with mistresses. He is imprisoned but the French Revolution ends before it is his turn to get his head cut off.

  4. sbpips

    What an appalling review. You have no grasp of de Sade other than what some people have told you – “it’s not very nice”. Apply some critical thinking here please. What is he attempting to do? Merely repulse us? I think not. There is plenty of philosophical thinking in 120 Days Of Sodom to get your teeth into (coprophagia aside…)

  5. Jacksom

    Fuck De Sade and fuck liberal philosophy. Fuck the darkside of the human race and fuck the sadists. I’m sorry, but fuck you. I don’t care what you will say, but fuck everything that is bad and fuck De Sade who corrupted people. Fuck him. Burn in Hell De Sade. Death to De Sade!

  6. Jacksom

    And fuck this piece of shit book 120 days of sodom. I don’t care if there is something interesting. You idiots love it because of the “philosophy” and the fucker’s opinion about religion and morality. Fuck you. Remember Augustine? Fuck you.

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