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Philosophy in the Boudoir or, The Immoral Mentors

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  2,328 ratings  ·  168 reviews
Philosophy of the Boudoir follows three aristocrats as they indoctrinate the fifteen-year-old Eugénie de Mistival in “the principles of the most outrageous libertinism.” 200 years after de Sade’s death, readers will continue to find shock and delight in this most joyous of his erotic works, now with a new introduction by Francine du Plessix-Gray.
Paperback, Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition, 192 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by Penguin Classics (first published 1795)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Melody-Rue Ransom
hehe. I'm such a naughty girl for picking this one up. I had watched the movie "Quills" and became terribly curious about Marquis de Sade. After the first 20 pages, I must say that my cup of interest was filled in it's entirety, but I kept reading because the perversion of his writing was so unbelievable and even humorous. (I must state, that this novel is considered his most joyous writing... MOST of the sexual escapades in in violent deaths.) I couldn't believe that a man could have such a cre ...more
First of all I have to say that, it is extremely disturbing, shocking and shivery. But when I left aside these thoughts I saw the light. Sade is courageous, independent, rebellious. He questions morality, religion, traditions, sexism and every dogma which makes our lives difficult. He is so cruel, but impressive because he is rebels against the rules we accept in all our life without questioning. So, it has to be hard, noisome and convulsive. There is only one thing disturbed me when I was readi ...more
Tina Dyer
For de Sade, this is pretty good. There's a long discussion of the role of morals in the republic that is interesting, if debatable. As erotica, it is strictly chinese menu stuff. Bob'll have erotic act number one, Sally number two, and the Chevalier two orders of number seven, and then we'll all trade cartons. The interesting bit (to me) is that, even after copious pronouncements about how libertines transgress all boundaries, there's still a scene where Dolmance and Augustin go off in the corn ...more
Kit Fox
Of all the treatises I've read on the joys of anal sex with a cabal of debauched, French super-libertines—and trust me, I've read, like, hundreds—this one's easily the most—wait for it—accessible. Oof. Some seriously naughty shizz going on here, in between bouts of philosophical musings on why it's one's natural obligation to engage in anal sex with a cabal of debauched, French super-libertines, of course. And on a purely superficial level, the cover for the new Penguin Classics edition is ridic ...more
Apr 28, 2008 Gabriel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: adults
The most seductively evil book I've ever read, this is surely the lewdest, most depraved and nihilistic piece of smut from the 18th century.
The Marquis de Sade spent the last 14 years of his life imprisoned for writting this book (among others.)

It is shameful, but convinces you that your shame is misguided--or at least makes the attempt.
Nilo Esquivel
Crudo, perverso e hilarante. Más allá de lo escabroso, me fascinó la manera en que el Marqués de Sade logra comparar el sexo con la religión y la política.
Me hubiese gustado que estuviera escrito a manera de ensayo o novela, ya que siendo una obra de teatro, pierde un poco el espacio para indagar más en las ideas del autor y lograr una filosofía más completa.
Vladdan Oc
No apto para mentes pequeñas.

Más allá de lo erótico y perverso (o degenerado) del libro, la filosofía y política de las que nos habla dan mucho en lo que pensar.
Frederic Raymond
La philosophie dans le boudoir contient tout ce qui fait de Sade un auteur unique. Il y a de la philosophie, de la pornographie et de la torture. Un lecteur ne faisant que feuilleter le livre, en lisant des passages au hasard, pourra bien rigoler en lisant les scènes de sexe graphique écrits dans un vieux français. Cependant, lire le livre en totalité reste une expérience toute autre qui mène à une finale digne d'un roman d'horreur moderne, voire splatterpunk.
Interesting from an academic point of view, otherwise not my cup of tea. He is rather tedious and repetative and reminds me of Madonna circa 1991 - you know, always testing the limits of just how far he can go to outrage people.... I think the translation is very interesting - modern and accessible.
And so we come to the finale of my Sade reading project (that included, for context, Sade  A Sudden Abyss by Annie Le Brun and The Sadeian Woman  And the Ideology of Pornography by Angela Carter). I use these reviews as memory aids and sometimes as short essays to work out ideas, so it took me awhile to corral my thoughts into something coherent, but I apologize if I ramble. I'm no academic and I find that a great deal of headway can be made in encompassing a larger view of the world by actually embracing humility (while keeping one's critical senses sharp).

Short version - probably a good introd
STRONG LANGUAGE ALERT - Do not read this review if you are under the age of 18 or are offended by explicit sexuality and extreme violence (this is the Marquis friggin' DeSade, after all, grow up people).

This is a very curious book in all respects.

It is the story of a young woman, Eugénie, semi-willingly corrupted by an older woman and a homosexual named Dolmancé to whom apparently women are fine as long as they keep their icky punani away from him (much of the "philosophy" is about why the butt
It's really hard to rate this as personally I don't agree with Donatien-Alphonse-Francois de Sade's views but personally it helped me to understand the world of moral relativism that influenced authors as Flaubert and in some way is related to the view of authors as Baudelaire even if the later one tends to condemn such behaviour. Besides this, I have to say that the erotic narrative is nothing but totally ridiculous, not even scandalous once you read Dolmancé's arguments that lack of everything ...more
Warning: explicit content ;)

Yeah.. Well, what can I say? I had to read this book for a course ('History of gender and sexuality'), belonging to my minor. The teacher 'warned' us in advance; he said reading the book might require some 'open mindedness'/'benevolence' - he also said it was kind of a mental attack/violation, or something like that. Well, I think it kind of was.
We read about a young girl, Eugénie, visiting her friend mme De Saint-Anges, with the goal to get 'educated'. Mme De Saint-
I ~read Justine when I was very young and prudish so I picked this up wondering if my reaction to de Sade would be any different now. The answer: no. Still think it's juvenile, reactionary garbage by a sociopath obsessed with anal sex.
Gertrude & Victoria
Philosophy in the Boudoir received only three stars mainly because of the subject matter, which is typically what one would find in his stories. They are licentious affairs, unrestrained by either convention or conscience. This book was too sade-istic for my liking. The characters' acts of cruetly and extreme barbarity, are taken to the farthest edges of societal tolerance. I would never recommend this work to women.

What I did like was de Sade's elegant style. His command of language is very rar
It was an interesting read though I don't agree with all the opinions of de Sade. In this book he expresses all his philosophical thought, much better than in Justine, and in my opinion he was really a genius (perhaps a genius in his madness). His philosophy is: nature is the mother of everything and people must only follow the laws of Nature. He expresses his thoughts about religion, society, human kind, politics, people and their morals...very original thoughts but they remain only a philosoph ...more

Scene di sesso (estremo) e dialoghi filosofici.

Non si può negare che de Sade abbia parlato con chiarezza di temi come l'esistenza di Dio, la pena di morte, l'omicidio, la libertà sessuale, il controllo demografico, l'auto-estinzione dell'Umanità.

La forza di de Sade rispetto al maestro Voltaire è l'essersi sbarazzato del teismo, malattia infantile dell'ateismo.

La debolezza è il non riconoscere che la nostra libertà finisce quando intacchiamo quella degli altri.

Alla fine mi vedo costretto ad ulter
This was my first literary venture into De Sade's work. I've watched Salo, and I've come across numerous philosophical works that reference him, so I was very intrigued and excited to read this.

Firstly, I very much enjoyed it. The overall reading experience is a lot of fun, and of course, erotic. However, the dialogue and actions are laughable at times, most likely due to its anchor in the vernacular of its time, but also the sheer immensity of certain mindsets, especially those of Dolmance.

Peter Brooks
de Sade's unfortunate reputation goes before him. Certainly none of his books are ones that you'd recommend to a maiden aunt. Part of their reputation is well earned.

However, it is, I think, a pity to dismiss him simply as a pornographer. His books are an unusual read, but are stimulating. His fierce anti-clericism is refreshing, if, as with most of what he says, rather on the extreme level.

What I find most informative, though, are his discussions of morality, ethics and government. de Sade was
Αυτό το βιβλίο δεν ήταν για μένα. Δεν κατάφερα να διαβάσω ούτε 100 σελίδες, και γι' αυτό το λόγο δεν είμαι σε θέση να κρίνω το περιεχόμενό του όπως, ίσως, του αρμόζει. Θα το ολοκληρώσω, κάποια στιγμή, περισσότερο επειδή ακούω πολλές καλές κριτικές, οι οποίες δεν εστιάζουν στη σεξουαλική οπτική του έργου του de Sade.
Ve Handojo
A fun blend of raunchy sex scenes with political and philosophical desertations, Philosophy in the Boudoir is my first Marquis de Sade's that confirms his wild and genius mind. Sade attempts to push mankind back to their nature, follow their true instinct, and let laws and regulations be humbled. Based on this boundless freedom government must be mainly built. There is no judgement of morals as the only boundary will be in one's own self. "I will not punish you for the murder you have committed. ...more
Jotaro Kujo
A critique of enlightenment rationality wrapped around a BDSM story. It's de Sade, after all.
Cheryl Anne Gardner
I read this book for the first time when I was in my twenties. At that time, I was obsessed with philosophy and psychology. This, of course, has always been a banned book, and I also love to read banned books. In my opinion, this is the most complete and insightful collection of de Sade’s revolutionary philosophies and ideas in print: the most important in my humble opinion being the “complete denial of right to property” specifically the idea that women were property. In The Sadeian Woman: And ...more
Reid Luzzader
Since the Marquis de Sade is so infamous, I feel like I need to write a short essay justifying why I read this. I am studying the 18th century now, and thought that I would read some literature from that time.

Also, there is a strong academic interest in Sade. He was supposed to have been an influence on the Surrealists, but I think the interest fully started with the French historian and theorist Michael Foucault, who thought that Sade was important.

I am specifically studying 18th century though
Neo Marshkga
The Marquis de Sade is one of those iconic writers that you get to know while you are a teenager, in search of controversy in the form of Sex and Philosophy.
This book contains all of those things that you are looking for in something that was written by him, some very controversial characters entwined with a very unorthodox situation, lots of blasphemy and hard criticism to religion, to the state and to the moral and ethic guidelines that seem to direct peoples lives for the most part. Treating
Damian Reyes
Me sorprende 2 cosas:

1.- Que pueda considerar éste libro algo más "light", si lo comparo con 120 días de Sodoma del mismo Sade.

2.- Que entre esta historia de desfigurada y burda sexualidad, pueda existir, efectivamente como lo dice el título, FILOSOFÍA, me resulta sorpresiva e interesante la forma de abordar el concepto de libertad que resulta fresco en la Francia del siglo XVIII: "Un esfuerzo más, franceses, antes de que puedan llamarlos republicanos".
Δε μου άρεσε καθόλου σα βιβλίο και όχι για τις πολύ (πιο πολύ δε γινόταν:Ρ)περιγραφικές σεξουαλικές περιπτύξεις των πρωταγωνιστών αλλά κυρίως για τις απόψεις που εξέφραζε ο De Sade.
Παρ'όλα αυτά δεν μπορώ να μην παραδεχτώ ότι ήταν πολύ μπροστά από την εποχή του με όσα έλεγε.
Προσωπικά με απογοήτευσε το βιβλίο (κυρίως γιατί το περίμενα διαφορετικά από φιλοσοφική άποψη με όσα είχα ακούσει και διαβάσει) και ειδικά το τελευταίο κεφάλαιο με αηδίασε αρκετά...
Nov 26, 2014 Nico added it
Espero que esto no se vuelva costumbre, pero nuevamente no me siento en calidad de ponerle estrellas a este libro, porque siento que está asociado al "si te gustó o no la historia" y en el caso de este libro, esta más cercano a un tratado de filosofía que a narrar algo -"Dolmancé, me excitan tanto tus discursos" -En serio ¿Cómo puede uno leer eso sin reírse?.

Mirado por ese lado, encontré que era un libro muy pedagógico(?), dónde es posible entender el proyecto de Sade de abolir la idea de la "mo
Humberto Soto
A brutal writing. Not everyone is prepared to read the books of this man. He is a master using language and imagination, which has always been pointed out as too violent and too sexual at the same time. I was amazed in the middle of the play, where you find descriptions of a real republic and not the "republic" we are all used to. Descriptions of the religions' tricks used to try to minimize and to control you. Critics which all seem to had been written nowadays, but written more than two hundre ...more
Dani Schechtel
TREMENDO LIBRO. Provocativo, excitante, bien erótico y bien filosófico. Sade expone su pensamiento radical por medio de un personaje masculino que junto a una mujer le explican a una jovencita de 15 años cómo se debe vivir: simplemente para tener sexo. Si bien muchas ideas son exageradas, como el hecho de que en realidad no existen Crímenes pues la naturaleza todo lo permite, es liberadora la manera en que incita a la libertad sexual, y lo que sorprende es que de ambos sexos, diciendo que todos ...more
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Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade was a French aristocrat, revolutionary politician, philosopher, and writer famous for his libertine sexuality and lifestyle. 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 ...more
More about Marquis de Sade...
Justine The 120 Days of Sodom Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and Other Writings Juliette The 120 Days of Sodom and Other Writings

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“What does one want when one is engaged in the sexual act? That everything around you give you its utter attention, think only of you, care only for you...every man wants to be a tyrant when he fornicates.” 103 likes
“Amigos mios, ha llegado la hora de darnos cuenta de que la moral debería ser la base de la religión y no esta la base de la moral” 8 likes
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