Vicente Munoz Puelles's The Arch of Desire was an excellent referral to Marquis de Sade's work. This exquisitely dark novel about the workings of an evil genius's mind enthralled me. No sooner did I start reading this book than it consumed me until its final pages.
Various arresting matters are brought on in Juliette, and they all mix erotica with dark messages that somehow sound logical. Marquis de Sade states that doing evil leads to personal fulfillment. He relies upon the success of various political dictators and powerful people with no scruples to illustrate his opinion. Also, he assures the reader that acting upon the most taboo subjects - murder, atheism, incest, rape, hatred - will free you from all inhibitions. In other words, crime, not truth, shall set one free. He illustrates the aforementioned horrid details from a young woman's vantage point. Juliette is quite a character.
Marquis de Sade was one of the best, albeit underrated, literary authors out there. His work is just as, if not more, controversial than Nietzsche, and he possessed the same sort of disarming genius. This novel's content is not to be agreed upon, but for sheer intellectual stimulation it can't be beaten. I look forward to reading more of his work, especially Justine - the counterpoint of Juliette - with utmost anticipation.