0 02 2006

The Marquis de Sade's The 120 Days of Sodom: Revelling in the Natural Law of Libertinage

Amanda Di Ponio


Libertinage is as much a part of Nature as asceticism. This is fundamental to understanding de Sade's The 120 Days of Sodom. What is documented in the text is not the extreme perversions of Nature, but rather the other side of Nature which civilization has caused the human individual to forget, or at least deny. As this article shall show, what de Sade offers in Sodom is an image of a society that has replaced civilized practices with libertinage, thus making it the dominant doctrine. 

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