heather's Reviews > The Crimes of Love

The Crimes of Love by Marquis de Sade
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Mar 04, 08

Recommended for: Voltaire fans, feminists, surrealists, psychoanalysts

I have read these stories, written by de Sade while incarcerated in Charenton, over and over again. They are the only of his works that I truly treasure. He wrote them late in a debauched life and they are infused with a melancholy moralism (think Voltaire in a terrible mood), where few people have pure motives (and virtually everyone meets a bad end), effusive, romantic prose can turn surreal and footnotes can meditate on dreams in a way that presages and far outstrips the insights of Freud. I find this collection of stories unlike anything else de Sade wrote: politically astute (especially with regard to class and gender politics), sometimes alarmingly psychologically insightful and worth revisiting again and again. They have a gripping narrative pull that seems far more related to crime-fiction than the navel-gazing pornographic novels of the early de Sade.
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