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Juliette Paperback – Jan 1 1991


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Juliette + Justine, or the Misfortunes of Virtue + The Misfortunes of Virtue and Other Early Tales
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1216 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (Jan. 1 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802130852
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802130853
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 13.8 x 5.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 962 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #104,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25 2000
Format: Paperback
It's not great literature, and were it not for the shock and humor value, it would fail to even be engaging literature. As a matter of fact, it does get painfully tedious after the first couple hundred pages, when you begin to realize that the book is not building towards anything in particular but is just going to be going on and on and on in the established fashion (stomach-turning sadistic sexual exploits told in fancy old-english prose interupted here and there by philosophical discourses.) Still, this is well worth reading (at least through to the end of Part 1 or so.) Most seriously philosophers and scholars dismiss De Sade's philosophy of evil, and while it is certainly not the end-all be-all in the realm of intellectual thought, I personally felt there were many moments of exceptional profundity in his philosophical diatribes, which efficiently and aptly tear apart the fallacy of "goodness" while offering a fresh way to look at morality in general. Essentially, the philosophical portions of the book elaborate a well-thought-out system which entirely justifies and applauds any act of Evil imaginable (the non-philosophical portions illustrate just how far the imagination can go, once let loose on this path), and furthermore encourages such acts, while condemning acts we would typically view as "moral" and "virtuous" as symptoms of a profound inner weakness. It may sound upsetting to some, and it is certainly every decent, church-going American's worst nightmare put down on paper, but one needn't except Evil as the ultimate Good in order to get something of value out of De Sade.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
As a work of pornography, "Juliette" can certainly hold its own. But as literature, it doesn't compare to "Justine" which is a much better written novel. Regardless, people looking for Sadeian erotica will find it here, as well as Sade's philosophy. I was surprised and pleased by the amount of lesbianism in this book, something one would not expect from an author who has always been described as a bisexual interested in male sodomy. But in late works like "Juliette" he seems to have acquired a taste for lesbian sex, or at least an understanding of it's popular appeal as erotica, and this is evident in this book as well as surviving notes from his "The Days of Florville", a mammoth pornographic work and perhaps Sade's masterpiece, which he wrote in his last days at the asylum in Charenton and which was ordered to be burned by his son after Sade's death.
"Juliette" is a long novel, covering the story and fate of Juliette, the virtuous Justine's libertine sister, and her sexual and criminal adventures out in the real world.
David Rehak
author of "A Young Girl's Crimes"
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
I finished 'Juliette' a few weeks ago and it is difficult to deny its power to shock the reader, even now, two hundered years after the book was written.
Sade's philosophy, such as it is, is exceptionally reductionist in its view of 'Nature'. He throws out all morality as an arbitrary construct of human society and argues that as customs and practices differ from place to place, morality itself is totally relative and worth utterly nothing. Out goes God and instead of a divine being, Sade promotes his view of Nature- which is cruel, cares not a jot for human life and wants us to appease our appetites at any cost to other human beings. Any talk of love is so much sentimental cant-all traces of love in the human heart are to be wiped out so they do not take away from our enjoyment of physical pleasures. All criminal acts give us pleasure, this is our Nature (if we deny this we are just not able to break free of society's conditioning of us and are not keeping good faith with Nature) therefore they are to be committed at every opportunity. His characters are invariably wealthy, powerful, totally unscrupulous and get their sexual kicks in the most laborious ways .
Because of his refutation of morality and his recognition of the fact that without God, our moral system seems to lack an anchor, he might be regarded as a predecessor of Nietzsche. Sade is however a lesser thinker and his conclusions sometimes verge on the rather simplistic 'might is right' kind. In his view of 'Nature' he is simply, in my opinion, wrong.
If he had been a little more observant and a little less insane, he would have noted that altruistic behaviours are as much exhibited by Nature as self-serving or cruel ones.
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