Madame de Sade and Other Problems

Pli 5:95-114 (1994)
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Abstract
Margaret Crosland argues that it was the Marquis de Sade, infamous for dominating women, who was in fact dominated by women. The important people in his life, those with whom he had direct contact, and who gave him friendship and support, were women; he knew the men important to him mostly indirectly, through their books. Crosland makes the case that de Sade's writing is often discounted due to an overly literal reading of his work, and that his writings remain an important place to see the principles of materialism worked out to one kind of logical extreme. Crosland's essay additionally serves as a brief overview of the changes in de Sade's writing over the course of his life.
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