Quatrième de couverture anglais

For two centuries, literary criticism has been built on a major, persistent and consensual conviction : Sade is immoral, defending crime, vices and evil. This book aims to prove that this is one of the most formidable misinterpretations in the history of ideas. To what extent does Sade believe what he writes ? Following a rigorous methodology primarily founded on the contextualization of his work, we unearth striking coincidences between Sade’s world and the world of 18th century French penal reform. By taking into consideration the legal environment of an imprisoned writer and by using a combination of philosophical, legal and historical approaches, a Sade moralist is revealed. An examination of all the Marquis’ texts, from his fiction to his correspondence, from his most famous works to the ignored lines, shows that while the traditional assumption of immorality necessarily divides Sade’s work, this book demonstrates that it is in fact Sade’s morality that unites it.

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