The Misfortunes of Virtue and Other Early Tales

ISBN : 9780199540426

Marquis de Sade; David Coward
336 ページ
130 x 200 mm
Oxford World's Classics

The name of the Marquis de Sade is synonymous with the blackest corners of the human soul, a byword for all that is foulest in human conduct. In his bleak, claustrophobic universe, there is no God, no morality, no human affection, and no hope. Power is given to the strong, and the strong are murderers, torturers, and tyrants. No quarter is given; compassion is the virtue of the weak. Yet Sade was a man of savage intelligence who carried the philosophy of the French Enlightenment to its logical extreme. His writings effectively release the individual from all social and moral constraint: for many, Sade is the Great Libertarian. The Victorians considered him 'Divine' and Apollinaire called him 'the freest spirit'; the Surrealists recognised him as a founding father, and he is a key figure in the history of modernism and post-modernism. With Freud and Marx, Sade has been one of the crucial shaping influences on this century, and reactions to him continue to be extreme. But he has always been more talked about than read. This selection of his early writings, some making their first appearance in this new translation, reveals the full range of Sade's sobering moods and considerable talents.

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The Misfortunes of Virtue
Dialogue Between a Priest and a Dying Man
The Successful Ruse
The Pimp Well Served
The Windbags of Provence
An Inexplicable Affair
The Prude
Emile de Tourville
Augustine de Villeblanche
The Law of Talion
The Self-Made Cuckold
The Husband who Said Mass
The Lady of the Manor of Longeville
The Confidence Men


Translated and edited by David Coward, Senior Lecturer in French, University of Leeds