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Thread: Jean Genet & Marquis de Sade

  1. #1
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    Wink Jean Genet & Marquis de Sade

    From within the horrible chamber of his cell, de Sade writes his Last Will and Testament. Beneath the shadow of the executioner’s hand he evokes the loyal ties of filial piety, calling upon his children to carry out his final wishes.
    Sade first addresses the long term loyalty of Demoiselle Marie-Constance Reinelle (wife of Quesnet) as he expresses extreme gratitude, for the care and friendship she has shown him during the twenty-four years – from seventeen ninety to eighteen forty – she was with him. This great and loyal friendship is deeply rooted in the long-established order of old codes in which souls are eternally allied.
    Secondly, Sade bequeaths to the Madame Quesnet his goods and chattels, to include his meager household furnishings, effects and linens, clothing books or papers, with the exception of his father’s papers, which he will label accordingly to be handed over to his children.
    Thirdly, it is his intention that Madame Quesnet be in no way deprived any ‘rights, claims or levies’ that she may make upon his estate.
    Fourthly, to the executor of his Last Will and Testament, he bequeaths a ring valued at twelve hundred livres, ‘in return for the trouble which the execution of the present act shall have occasioned him’
    Surely, a man of this caliber who is busily preparing for the provision and continued well being of others after his death is not evil. Nor could he be feathering his own self-interest since he will not be present to defend himself.
    Fifthly, De Sade forbids his body to ‘be opened’ and that it be kept ‘a full forty-eight hours in the chamber where he shall have died, before being nailed shut and escorted to Malmaison where he will be laid to rest. Dug by farmer tenant of Malmaison, under Monsieur Le Normand’s supervision he will be covered over and the ditch strewn with acorns to regenerate the earth.
    Should the memory of De Sade have faded out as he had wished then we would be denied an even greater understanding of ourselves and while The Last Will and Testament expressly outlines specific requirements Sade would have us observe, the reality is that we have not intruded upon his space. Nor have we breached his Last Will and Testament by giving him the respect he deserves. Surely this highly organized and well-structured piece of writing demonstrates the mental processes of sane thinking and not a mad man as it demonstrates clear thinking and literary skill as De Sade carefully composes his writing using the complex arrangement of literary devices that include, visual and tactile imagery, psychological use of character and setting, soliloquy, and impressionism to construct his Last Will and Testament.
    We stand before the open grave, peering into ‘the ditch’ the description of which echoes the impending execution of the Marquis as after his burial we hear the sound of acorns landing on the soft earth knowing that we shall have closed the pages to De Sade before traces of his grave disappear from the face of the earth but with his memory and indeed, his words, eternally etched upon our souls.
    Of all the places it is the state prison that stands for the ultimate transgression of the status quo. It is also the state prison that challenges the subversive nature of every transgressive act that would uproot the oppressive foundation of individuals and subcultures who are marginalized by the dominant ruling classes. Like Fontevrault prison stands for the end of all liberty.
    Fontevrault is the most disquieting place which gives Jean Genet ‘the strongest sense of anguish and affliction.’ Equally, Mettray is richly divested with the familiar and although it is a place of anguish and affliction it is a sanctuary in which young lives share in passionate bursts of desire as if by doing so they rise above the cruel environment in which they are trapped.
    ‘The convict with his thirty year sentence was the fulfillment of himself, the last transformation, which death would make permanent.’ Here is the darkest hour before the dawn, the dark heart of the dungeon that prepares its guests for death and indeed, drives its youth towards martyrdom. The strength of eternal conviction bound not by the promise of life but the rawness of love itself. There is no alarm to arrest or seize Genet’s senses and as he makes his secret promise that shall surely reprove him, Genet looks forward to the very act that will transform him completely. His pen flows over the page that is left dripping with richly interwoven imagery in which the reader can feel the cold as he is touched by Winter and experiences the moment in which he is bound in chains as the cards are shuffled and dealt by his companions, the guards. The mood is empty and a sense of abandonment strikes the reader as he realizes ‘I am only on page six?’ Again the reader is arrested and once captured finds himself being carried along like Genet in chains, by a force beyond the readers control. He could close the book and end the story here, now. Instead, he chooses to journey towards an unknown end, towards his final destination within the walls of the his beloved sanctuary.

  2. #2
    I don't understand why some are fascinated by people like de Sade, Crowley, etc. They were sexual maniacs, not to mention drug addicts and loathsome individuals in other respects. Can anyone explain this to me?

  3. #3
    If u dont understand the literary work of the great author like de sade, please dont insult them. The sex is imbedded on every human being. Some suppress it, some indulge in divert tactic but it explode privately and kept secret within ourselve. It is a sacred subject. hope u understand what do i mean to say

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    Quote Originally Posted by starrwriter
    I don't understand why some are fascinated by people like de Sade, Crowley, etc. They were sexual maniacs, not to mention drug addicts and loathsome individuals in other respects. Can anyone explain this to me?
    There are certainly some mentally deranged people in the world, that no disguise can ever cover.
    The only way you will ever get a real answer to your question is, as I am sure you know, to research it yourself. No-one else can do your work for you.

    As for Sade, he is one of the world's most influential writers as time has proven.
    It's the weird and wonderfuls who attempt to conceal themselves that we have to watch. To say the least.

  5. #5
    Worthless Hack Zippy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ErotiKa
    It's the weird and wonderfuls who attempt to conceal themselves that we have to watch. To say the least.
    Is that what we're calling them now - 'weird and wonderfuls'? I wish I could find a smiley that was rolling its eyes!
    Buy my book! - http://www.lulu.com/content/348953

    "Do you understand, gentlemen, that all the horror is in just this - that there is no horror!"

  6. #6
    Then dawns the Invisible Psycheinaboat's Avatar
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    I agree with Starr and Zippy's sentiments here. I can read de Sade with that apathy time allows us, but I take it as a sign of dysfunction that many today seem to glamorize him so.

    I know that what constitutes normal is often subjective, but when someone plots or acts out violence against another in the name of self exploration, a line has been crossed.

    I have a hypothesis that you can best understand a society by how its people practice religion and procreation. I think this fascination with characters like de Sade says a great deal.
    Ignorance is
    the curse of God;
    Knowledge is the
    wing wherewith
    we fly to heaven
    - Shakespeare

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    But the fact is that violence and sex are both part of our subconscious being which are repressed. If you never suppressed any emotions or desires you would end up being very similar to a Sade character. It's this exploration of the human subconsciousness and willingless to lay everything completely bare without any glorification that makes him so noteworthy.
    "In the sunset of dissolution, everything is illuminated by the aura of nostalgia, even the guillotine."
    - Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

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    interesting: looks like star just posed a question and left it lol?
    superunknown, i certainly support what you say.

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    The psychology of Sade is obviously as dead as today's sexual beings.

  10. #10
    Knight errant
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    Quote Originally Posted by superunknown
    But the fact is that violence and sex are both part of our subconscious being which are repressed. If you never suppressed any emotions or desires you would end up being very similar to a Sade character. It's this exploration of the human subconsciousness and willingless to lay everything completely bare without any glorification that makes him so noteworthy.
    Well said, and I could not agree more.

    Further, I would think another great reason for de Sade's influence would be propagated by virtue of a lack of other material on these darker subjects. Few other authors have been quite so bold as de Sade was in his life. I understand some feel that this adjective may not apply, but what de Sade did in his life was courageous, despite what you may seem to think about his over virtues (or lack thereof).

  11. #11
    Then dawns the Invisible Psycheinaboat's Avatar
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    I did not mean to imply that Sade's works should not be read or that this subject matter should not be explored. I do think, though, that most of us living in our current TV culture want only to be entertained, so I do not think it shows our society as moving in a progressive or positive direction that we glamorize such acts and relish the "entertainment" provided by such works.

    I do agree that de Sade has provoked thought and forced examination since his lifetime, whatever his motivations.
    Ignorance is
    the curse of God;
    Knowledge is the
    wing wherewith
    we fly to heaven
    - Shakespeare

  12. #12
    Cur etiam hic es? Redzeppelin's Avatar
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    Half a year dead, but the unasked question inside this discussion is the perennial: What is art? How far should art go in its intent - and what is that intent: to shock, to provoke, to inform, to puzzle, to - ?

    Not everybody who is persuasive with language ought to be listened to (even British officials commented with amazement that while listening to Hitler, you couldn't help but get swept up in what he was saying). That an "artist" plumbs the depths of human depravity doesn't make him a visionary artist. Is every dark corner of our psyche worth probing for what's spawning there? Is somebody better for having waded through De Sade's numbing sex and violence - where the discrimination between the two blurs? And when you blur two such powerful things, have you made them clearer to the reader, or muddled them inextricably in a dangerous way?

    This is postmodernism's fault - the idea that pornography can be labled "art."
    "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." - C.S. Lewis

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