Sade by Laurence L. Bongie
A Biographical Essay

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The writings of the Marquis de Sade have recently attained notoriety in the canon of world literature. Now Sade himself is often celebrated as a heroic apostle of individual rights and a giant of philosophical thought. In this detailed investigative work, Laurence Bongie tests these claims and finds them unfounded and undeserved.

"A valuable correction to the perception of Sade as a profound thinker, a great writer, and a martyr to liberty. Drawing on original archival work, Bongie tries to illuminate Sade's childhood and his relationship with his parents. . . . Fluent and well-informed."—Library Journal

"Mr. Bongie . . . has written an investigation focusing on one aspect of Sade's character and development, his heretofore neglected relationship with his aristocratic mother. . . . A profitable selection."—Richard Bernstein, New York Times

"A welcome corrective. Bongie's book . . . aims to deflate the exalted claims made about the marquis by demonstrating that he was a monstrous character."—Scott Stossel, Boston Phoenix Literary Supplement

About Laurence L. Bongie

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University of British Columbia
Published December 6, 1998 by University of Chicago Press. 343 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Yet the upshot of his research is a negative finding: “we are still too ignorant of Sade’s basic biographical facts, especially those relating to his formative years, to hope to even begin “explaining’ him.” Still, he argues that based on what we do know, Sade’s life and works reveal a man remark...

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