Sade’s Sensibilities

Sade’s Sensibilities
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Kate Parker
Aperçus: Histories Texts Cultures
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Sade’s Sensibilities examines a new and different Sade: one engaged with broader currents of Enlightenment feeling. In this volume, we recapture a historical Sade alongside a contemporary portrait of Sade as the consummate radical of the eighteenth century.
Sade’s Sensibilities tells a new story of one of the most enduring and controversial figures in European literature. Blending ideas about subjectivity, identity and natural philosophy with politics and pornography, D.A.F. de Sade has fascinated writers and readers for two hundred years, and his materialist account of the human condition has been widely influential in post-structuralism, nihilism, and feminism. This new collection of essays considers Sade’s Enlightenment legacy, both within and beyond the narratives of radicalism and aberration that have historically marked the study of his oeuvre. From different points of view, these essays argue that Sade engaged with and influenced traditional Enlightenment paradigms—particularly those related to sensibility, subjectivity, and philosophy—as much as he resisted them. They thus recover a Sade more relevant, even foundational to our twenty-first century understanding of modernity, selfhood, and community. In Sade’s Sensibilities Sade is no longer a solitary, peripheral radical, but an Enlightenment philosopher in his own right.



Kate Parker

Part I: Feeling, Thinking, Reading Sade

Chapter 1: Coitus Interruptus: Sadean Intimacy and the End(s) of Narrrative

Christopher Nagle and Courtney Wennerstrom

Chapter 2: The Reader in the Boudoir

Eliane Moraes

Chapter 3: Obscenity off the Scene: Sade’s La Philosophie dans le boudoir

John Phillips

Chapter 4: Sade, Philosophy and Fiction

Norbert Sclippa

Part II: In Pursuit of D.A.F. de Sade

Chapter 5: “A little short fat man, thirty-five years of age, inconceivably vigorous, and hairy as a bear”: The Figure of the Philosopher in Sade

Caroline Warman

Chapter 6: Sade at the End of the World

Natania Meeker

Chapter 7: Sade and the Medical Sciences: Pathophysiology of the Novel and the Rhetoric of Contagion

Mladen Kozul

Chapter 8: The Marquis, the Monster and the Scientist: Sade, Sexology and Criticism
Will McMorran


Notes on Contributors

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