mark monday's Reviews > The 120 Days of Sodom and Other Writings

The 120 Days of Sodom and Other Writings by Marquis de Sade
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Feb 23, 14

bookshelves: all-fucked-up, sexathon
Read in February, 2014

'tis the season...

13 TALES OF TERROR: BOOK 1

 photo tumblr_kzco60dIVH1qzb1rlo1_r1_500_zps9a7b99e2.png

yes i know that Mr. Donatien-Alphonse-Francois de Sade was all about the freedom of the spirit and the power of the mind to free itself from all fetters, and that those are the underlying themes of all of his works... ugh, who cares? too much genital mutilation and too much shit-eating does not make me want to embrace freedom, it makes me want to lock people up!

i loathed the Pasolini adaptation, Salo. pictured above.

on the other hand, the Peter Brook film of The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade (otherwise known as Marat/Sade) is pretty nifty, if you like that kind of thing. a musical set in an insane asylum. it was a childhood favorite. great songs!
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Reading Progress

02/23/2014 marked as: currently-reading
02/23/2014 "had to float this one because I found the perfect image to include in my review. this is definitely not a re-read."

Comments (showing 1-20 of 20) (20 new)

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message 1: by Miriam (new)

Miriam does not make me want to embrace freedom, it makes me want to lock people up!

The Marquis de Sade: Making sex look bad since 1765.

Your review reminds me of how my Gender Studies -- mostly very liberal women with PhDs -- reading group read Sex after Fascism: Memory and Morality in Twentieth-Century Germany and were all, "Oh, now I see why Ratzinger is so repressed!" or "This makes me want to promote abstinence!"


message 2: by mark (new) - rated it 1 star

mark monday Sex After Fascism does not sound very hot. nor does Sex During Fascism sound very hot either, because that would be the movie Salo, which is so not hot. i think i'll take Sex Before Fascism But After World War 1: The Cabaret Years. now that sounds hot!


message 3: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Weimar Sex!


message 4: by Ramsay (new)

Ramsay Clarke I watched the film adaptation to this, and haven't gotten around to reading the book (and I don't think I'll ever). It's a good look at the sadistic nature of men, but I found myself skipping over most of the scenes because it was either too violent or gross. You pretty much summed up my thoughts of the film in your book review.


message 5: by mark (new) - rated it 1 star

mark monday a film professor back in college did a trial by fire one night and scheduled a triple viewing of some 70s gay porn, a film by Brackhage that showed the very graphic birth of a baby, and Salo. i had no problem with the first two but had to leave during Salo. enough was enough!


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

man was just bitter he got locked in prison for ten years.


message 7: by mark (new) - rated it 1 star

mark monday if you include the insane asylum at Charenton and various shorter stays in various prisons, he was actually locked up for over 30 years of his life! poor Marquis.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

no wonder he wrote angry porn!


message 9: by mark (new) - rated it 1 star

mark monday ha! actually, it is sort of light as far as the style goes. like if Oscar Wilde decided to take on extreme s&m and 2 girls 1 cup. plus politics and DESTROY THE BOURGEOISIE.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Yeah I had a phase where I read some of his books. I actually own a copy of Salo for some reason. My go to date night movie. Nothing impresses the ladies like political torture erotica...


message 11: by Kate (new)

Kate Sherrod Oh man, Marat/Sade and Ken Russell's The Devils is a favorite double-feature for this time of year. And now I've seen Quills, it might have to be a triple feature. But yes, I,too have tried to read Sade a few times and agree: ridiculously icky. Even if it's really satire of that mindset, it's just... MEARGUHHH MAKE IT STOP


message 12: by Miriam (new)

Miriam film by Brackhage that showed the very graphic birth of a baby

Is that the one with close-ups of tearing flesh and pouring blood? If so, I saw it on a date.


message 13: by mark (new) - rated it 1 star

mark monday Miriam that is awesomely awful! because yes, tearing flesh & pouring blood & hey there's the placenta. it was a rigorous experience. baby & mom were fine though. a happy ending! i remember feeling both grossed out and very moved.


message 14: by mark (new) - rated it 1 star

mark monday Kate wrote: "Oh man, Marat/Sade and Ken Russell's The Devils is a favorite double-feature for this time of year. And now I've seen Quills, it might have to be a triple feature. But yes, I,too have tried to read..."

The Devils is another one of my favorite films!

i liked Quills, but i can't add it to the double feature. not subversive enough. but cute enough Hollywood entertainimet.


message 15: by mark (new) - rated it 1 star

mark monday Anthony wrote: "Yeah I had a phase where I read some of his books. I actually own a copy of Salo for some reason. My go to date night movie. Nothing impresses the ladies like political torture erotica..."

my kind of a lady!


message 16: by Xenomantid (new)

Xenomantid The rest of the thread and I will have to agree to disagree on Salo (I actively enjoyed watching it), but 120 Days of Sodom does not exactly dazzle me with its satire so far. Sade wrote pornographic prototypes of Ayn Rand books, although Rand and Sade would probably get into a fistfight if they conversed on the topic of morality.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Xenomantid wrote: "The rest of the thread and I will have to agree to disagree on Salo (I actively enjoyed watching it), but 120 Days of Sodom does not exactly dazzle me with its satire so far. Sade wrote pornographi..."

I never said I disliked the film. I don't think I can say I "enjoyed" it either. I don't think anyone else could have done any better at adapting the book.


message 18: by mark (new) - rated it 1 star

mark monday Xenomantid, i like that you discussed Rand & Sade in the same sentence. i have never made that connection before. Best Comment Award!

the one thing i did enjoy about Salo was the very elegant direction. which is ironic because Pasolini is not usually known for his elegance in directing. ah, Pasolini. i loved Teorema. crude and emotional and intellectual and just brilliant!


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

mark wrote: "Xenomantid, i like that you discussed Rand & Sade in the same sentence. i have never made that connection before. Best Comment Award!

the one thing i did enjoy about Salo was the very elegant dire..."


I like Pasolini's A Thousand and One Nights. I like movies that aren't scared of sex or nudity. I don't even mind books or movies that grapple with sexual violence or perversion. But Sade's work often feels like someone telling a joke who gets too wrapped up in telling the joke and forgets the punch line.


message 20: by Edward (new)

Edward Matson :)


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