Marquis de Sade

Novelist, Author

1740 – 1814

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Who was Marquis de Sade?

Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis of Sade was a French aristocrat, revolutionary politician, philosopher and writer, famous for his libertine sexuality. His works include novels, short stories, plays, dialogues and political tracts; in his lifetime some were published under his own name, while others appeared anonymously and Sade denied being their author. He is best known for his erotic works, which combined philosophical discourse with pornography, depicting sexual fantasies with an emphasis on violence, criminality and blasphemy against the Catholic Church. He was a proponent of extreme freedom, unrestrained by morality, religion or law. The words "sadism" and "sadist" are derived from his name.

Sade was incarcerated in various prisons and in an insane asylum for about 32 years of his life; 11 years in Paris, a month in the Conciergerie, two years in a fortress, a year in Madelonnettes, three years in Bicêtre, a year in Sainte-Pélagie and 13 years in the Charenton asylum. During the French Revolution he was an elected delegate to the National Convention. Many of his works were written in prison.

Famous Quotes:

  • Nature, who for the perfect maintenance of the laws of her general equilibrium, has sometimes need of vices and sometimes of virtues, inspires now this impulse, now that one, in accordance with what she requires.
  • One weeps not save when one is afraid, and that is why kings are tyrants.
  • For mortal men there is but one hell, and that is the folly and wickedness and spite of his fellows; but once his life is over, there's an end to it: his annihilation is final and entire, of him nothing survives.
  • There is no God, Nature sufficeth unto herself; in no wise hath she need of an author.
  • Happiness lies neither in vice nor in virtue; but in the manner we appreciate the one and the other, and the choice we make pursuant to our individual organization.
  • It is certain that stealing nourishes courage, strength, skill, tact, in a word, all the virtues useful to a republican system and consequently to our own. Lay partiality aside, and answer me: is theft, whose effect is to distribute wealth more evenly, to be branded as a wrong in our day, under our government which aims at equality? Plainly, the answer is no.
  • Lust's passion will be served; it demands, it militates, it tyrannizes.
  • Wolves which batten upon lambs, lambs consumed by wolves, the strong who immolate the weak, the weak victims of the strong: there you have Nature, there you have her intentions, there you have her scheme: a perpetual action and reaction, a host of vices, a host of virtues, in one word, a perfect equilibrium resulting from the equality of good and evil on earth.
  • Sex is as important as eating or drinking and we ought to allow the one appetite to be satisfied with as little restraint or false modesty as the other.
  • Behold, my love, behold all that I simultaneously do: scandal, seduction, bad example, incest, adultery, sodomy! Oh, Satan! one and unique God of my soul, inspire thou in me something yet more, present further perversions to my smoking heart, and then shalt thou see how I shall plunge myself into them all!

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Born
Jun 2, 1740
Paris
Also known as
  • Count Donatien-Alphonse-François de Sade
  • Monsieur Le Six
  • Sade
  • Donatien Alphonse François
  • The Divine Marquis
  • Donatien Alphonse François de Sade
  • Donatien Alphonse François de Sade, Marquis de Sade
Parents
Spouses
Children
Religion
  • Atheism
Nationality
  • France
Profession
Education
  • Lycée Louis-le-Grand
Lived in
  • Paris
Died
Dec 2, 1814
Saint-Maurice
Resting place
Épernon

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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