Friday, November 09, 2007

The Divine Marquis

Finished late last night Justine by Marquis de Sade. What a read! I said to Elina that it's one baffling book. "Is it exciting?" Elina asked. I said: "If I jerked off to this, I'd feel bad afterwards."

Nevertheless, I can highly recommend the book. First, it's not as boring as seems to be the consensus - it's actually quite readable, once you get past the late 18th century lingo and long dialogues. Second, it's a very interesting in that you can see the critique de Sade launches against the society of his time and the society that put him in prison. He might have enjoyed the same horrible deeds that are described in the book, but through the dialogue de Sade makes clear that it's the society and its high and mighty that does the most horrible things. They are rich heirs, highly-regarded monks, judges, etc. And all talk about will to power - no matter what you do to those who are weaker than you, they can do the same to those weaker than they.

It's easy to see why some people regard de Sade one of the earliest describers of the capitalist society which is based on exploiting the weak.

This one was highly rewarding read. I'm planning to read something about de Sade next, so expect to see some of that here. (The Finnish Wikipedia article on de Sade seems to be pretty bland and quite wrong about some matters. Here my friend Jussi Parikka talks about de Sade - in Finnish.)

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