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Sade in His Own Name

An Analysis of "Les Crimes de l‘amour</I>


Philippe Seminet

This book aims to situate the much-ignored public Marquis de Sade, author of eleven stories collected into four volumes under the title Les Crimes de l‘amour (1800), vis-à-vis the better-known Marquis de Sade, author of various anonymous works privileged by contemporary critics. Who is this author who – after the success of all his clandestine works – cast aside the cloak of anonymity to offer the public a collection of short fiction? This book explores how Les Crimes de l‘amour provides a key to better understanding Sade‘s prose in both its public and its clandestine guise. More than just a critical appraisal of each of the stories, this book sheds light on Sade in his role as a man of letters publishing in his own name. By considering the ramifications of Sade‘s goals as a writer, stated explicitly in the «Idée sur les romans», the prefatory essay to Les Crimes, and how these goals compare to those of his contemporaries, as well as how they play out in Les Crimes, Sade in His Own Name opens up new, historically situated readings of the better-known anonymous works.