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Posts Tagged ‘Marquis de Sade’

This Week on the Daily

December 7, 2014 | by

Snjokoma1891

E. Ravel, from Die Gartenlaube, 1891.

Our new Winter issue is here. Learn more about its cover, which features a photograph from Marc Yankus.

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“Art isn’t always what—or where—you expect to find it.” Nicole Rudick looks at art ephemera.

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Walter Benjamin used to write a radio show for children—here he tells a story with thirty brainteasers. (We’ll post the answers on Thursday.)

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“I think poetry is always one or two poets away from extinction.” Michael Hofmann and Jack Livings talk about poetry, translation, and Vespas.

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An interview with Julia Wertz about her online comic, Fart Party, now collected in a new book, The Museum of Mistakes. “I’m a real bitch in my work. No one likes a happy-go-lucky character—that’s the character everyone wants to see destroyed.”

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Twenty-five years after Wild at Heart, Barry Gifford’s novels are still weird on top.

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Two centuries after the Marquis de Sade, a French exhibition traces his influence

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Plus, Sadie Stein sees how far a full-page ad in The New York Times goes; and Joseph Conrad thinks the world is plenty mysterious enough as it is, thanks.

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Horrific Practices

December 2, 2014 | by

Two centuries after the Marquis de Sade, a French exhibition traces his influence. 

Jeandel_Deux femmes nues attachees

Charles-Francois Jeandel, Deux femmes nues attachees, allongees sur le cote, between 1890 and 1900; © Musee d’Orsay, dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Alexis Brandt

10. Moreau_Appartion

Gustave Moreau, L’Apparition, 1876; © RMN-Grand Palais (Musee d’Orsay) / Jean-Gilles Berizzi

Cezanne_Tentation-saint-antoine

Paul Cézanne, La Tentation de Saint Antoine, 1877; © RMN-Grand Palais (Musee d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

Cezanne_Femme etranglee

Paul Cézanne, La Femmeétranglée, between 1875 and 1876; © Musée d’Orsay, dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt

Degas_Scene de guerre

Edgar Degas,Scène de guerre au Moyenâge, 1865; © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d’Orsay) / Gérard Blot

03. Von Stuck_Chasse sauvage

Franz Von Stuck, La Chasse sauvage, 1899; © Musée d’Orsay, dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt

02. Delacroix_Chasse aux lions

Eugène Delacroix, Chasse aux lions (esquisse), 1854; © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d’Orsay) / Gérard Blot

05. Rodin_Minautore

Auguste Rodin, Minotaure ou Satyre et nymphe, 1885; © RMN-Grand Palais (Musee d’Orsay) / Adrien Didierjean

13. Rousseau_La Guerre

Henri Rousseau, La Guerre, 1894; © Musée d’Orsay, dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt

06. Vuillard_Figure de douleur

Edouard Vuillard, Figure de douleur, between 1890 and 1891; © Musee d’Orsay, dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt

08. Khnopff_Futur

Fernand Khnopff, Futur, 1898; © RMN-Grand Palais (Musee d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

Eugene Thirion, Jeune homme nu, debout, soutenu par les bras; © RMN-Grand Palais (Musee d’Orsay) / Adrien Didierjean

12. Verasis_Pierson_Comtesse  de Castiglione

Virginia Verasis and Pierre-Louis Pierson, Portrait de la comtesse de Castiglione, assise sur une table, le visage en partie coupe, 1865 and 1867; © Musee d’Orsay, dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt

16. Daumier_Dupin

HonoréDaumier, AndréMarie Jean Jacques Dupin, ca. 1832; © Musee d’Orsay, dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt

17. Burne-Jones_Roue de la fortune

Sir Edward Burne-Jones, La Roue de la Fortune, between 1875 and 1883; © RMN (Musee d'Orsay) / Gerard Blot

The Marquis de Sade died two hundred years ago today, on December 2, 1814. To mark the bicentennial, Annie Le Brun, a French academic and writer, has curated a sprawling show in the Marquis de Sade’s name at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The exhibition, “Attaquer le soleil” (“Attacking the Sun”), takes its name from a snippet in The 120 Days of Sodom, and it traces “the revolution of representation” occasioned by Sade’s unbridled lasciviousness: how his ideas about desire and violence seeped into the cultural zeitgeist and into some of the most seminal art created during and after his lifetime.

It seems tenuous, at first, to link Sade to a whole host of artistic traditions—traditions that didn’t necessarily need his help to see society as a holding cell, for teeming vices, impulses, and cruelties, all barely contained by etiquette. During a conference introducing the exhibition, Le Brun clarified her premise: “We didn’t try to illustrate Sade—on the contrary, the propos of Sade illuminates the violence that exists deep within at the moment of mythological, historical, religious painting … everything that Sade addresses was there before, and will of course continue after.” What Sade tapped into, and what’s elevated in the exhibition, is what Le Brun calls the “exaltation of passions” and the “vertigo of excess”—mixed, of course, with “flagrant atheism.” Read More »

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Satanic Seduction; Dufus Casanovas

January 20, 2012 | by

Dear The Paris Review,

Last week’s question on the topic of books you should read when young got me thinking: Can you provide a warning, or cautionary note, to attach to any books that may prove to be catastrophic when read at too young an age?

Thank you for your help.

All the best,
Daniel Davies

Fifteen years ago the late Roger Shattuck published a long attack on the writings of the Marquis de Sade, arguing that they were overrated as art and dangerous as pornography, especially to young readers. Being a young reader, I sneered at the time. But for all I know Shattuck was right. Kids are mean enough as it is, and too apt to treat each other like crash-test dummies, even without some lunatic marquis egging them on. I might also keep Larry Clark’s books on a high shelf. Drugs are sexy, sure, but the kids don’t need to know that. I sometimes wonder if I should have read Kafka Was the Rage in high school or the memoirs of Andy Warhol, or Edie, or quite so much Martin Amis. I’m not sure The Changing Light at Sandover was such a good idea, either. (Better precious than semiprecious, James Merrill liked to say—but surely there are limits.)

Do teenage boys still need to be warned off Kerouac? A friend of mine, currently in the second grade, has memorized The Complete Calvin and Hobbes and is in the habit of quoting it at length. It seems to me that this could turn into a problem. I remember the poet Peter Taylor complaining that he was taught To the Lighthouse in high school, when he was too young to know what was going on, or even to know that he didn’t know. Maybe the best you can do is to read once in boredom and incomprehension, then go back in protosenility and read everything again.

I am juggling lovers, which is no easy task. What are, in your opinion, the great literary love triangles? Which books will guide me in my complicated amorous pursuits?

Here at The Paris Review, we are of the Liz Lemon school: the word lovers bums us out unless it comes between “meat” and “pizza.” Anyway, how could we choose a favorite triangle? Pretty much every great novel contains one. That said, I’d probably vote for the ur-triangle of Satan, Adam, and Eve in Paradise Lost. In Book Four, Satan stands there and watches Adam and Eve having paradisical sex, until he can’t stand it anymore and turns away—like Warhol, running out of the room during a porn shoot: “I'm going to have an organza!” (See “cautionary note,” above.) That’s when Satan cooks up the plan to seduce Eve and ruin things in Eden.

What’s great about the passage—what makes Satan Satan—is the argument that he’s going to do all of this for Adam and Eve’s own good:

... Aside the Devil turnd
For envie, yet with jealous leer maligne
Ey'd them askance, and to himself thus plaind [i.e. complained].

Sight hateful, sight tormenting! thus these two
Imparadis't in one anothers arms
The happier Eden, shall enjoy thir fill
Of bliss on bliss, while I to Hell am thrust,
Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire,
Among our other torments not the least,
Still unfulfill'd with pain of longing pines;
Yet let me not forget what I have gain'd
From thir own mouths; all is not theirs it seems:
One fatal Tree there stands of Knowledge call'd,
Forbidden them to taste: Knowledge forbidd'n?
Suspicious, reasonless. Why should thir Lord
Envie them that? can it be sin to know,
Can it be death? and do they onely stand
By Ignorance, is that thir happie state,
The proof of thir obedience and thir faith?
O fair foundation laid whereon to build
Thir ruine! Hence I will excite thir minds
With more desire to know, and to reject
Envious commands, invented with designe
To keep them low whom knowledge might exalt
Equal with Gods ...

If you ask me, that comes pretty close to a triangulator’s credo. Who in a bad mood hasn’t suspected that so-called happy couples “stand/By ignorance”? And who hasn’t been seduced by “more desire to know, and to reject / Envious commands”? Read More »

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