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The 120 Days of Sodom

 
 
Khethil
 
Reply Tue 9 Sep, 2008 07:12 am
The 120 Days of Sodom
The 120 Days of Sodom and Other Writings
Marquis de Sade
ISBN: 0-8021-3012-7
Publisher: Grove Press

OVERVIEW: Written in 1785, the title of this work was originally to be psychopathia sexualis. After reading it, I think that probably would have been a better title. This is a unique book - none that I've read before or after can fit its category. Without any sense of political correctness, the Marquis takes us into the depths of one the most tortuous, murderous and dank sides of humanity. The wording speaks of horror in matter-of-fact language (and I used to think that contemporarily-used obscenities were a recent invention). This is an adult work, make no mistake about it. The reader is taken to a mountain retreat where each moment is filled with one inhumanity after another, inflicted at the hands of a few gentlemen who've decided that a, "... special libertine holiday" is in order, and its all extolled as if it were all some wondrous, relaxing activity. Read at your own risk - on more than one occasion I got nauseous. If you want to gain insight into some of humanity's potential for mistreatment and debauchery and are okay diving into the minds of people you wouldn't ever want to know, this is your book.

PRO'S:

  • All conventions of decency are removed - utterly raw and unabridged
  • Descriptive: Scenes, person descriptions and conversations are well-written
  • Well-Orchestrated: You'll cry for those hurt and rail with anger against their assailants
  • Teaching: Think you know what depths of inhumanity people are capable of? Think again...
  • So much of what many believe are recent-history practices have a long and indistinguished history; 2008 seems tame.

CONS:

  • Genuinely disturbing on a physical level. I once read some of this on my lunch break: bad idea
  • I didn't expect the events that came at the end; a bit traumatizing.
  • Be warned: You'll know true terror in the eyes of those hurt and sample the abject, horrid flavor of true lust perverted (neither are in the least bit pleasant sensations).
  • Compound sentances abound and descriptive stanzas that sometimes can leave the reader tapping their foot.

HIGHLIGHTS:[INDENT](ommitted)
[/INDENT]
MY RATING (1 to 10): 5.9


NOTE: After re-reading this review, I'm thinking the reader might be struck with the question, "Well, why should I want to read this thing?". I can only answer this in retrospect of my own motivations, knowing what I was getting into: The proper student of human behavior does not abridge their sources. Necessarily, the entire spectrum of human behavior will include aspects patently-unsavory. Wish you for full-perspective? Do you think, perhaps, that you can gain such perspective by sticking to that which is clean, sanitary and abridged?

Again, I'll warn the reader: This is an adult work

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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,603 • Replies: 12
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Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Sep, 2008 01:43 pm
@Khethil,
I have not read the Marquis' book, though I have seen the movie Quills. If you want a slight taste of what it seems this book will delve into, you may want to check out the movie.
NecromanticSin
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jan, 2010 03:06 am
@Khethil,
Im 80pages in,and enjoy it,but i'm also a sadomasochistic,so who figured? ha However i do take into consideration the review,as i am new to reading philosopical readings. Any other suggestions would be kind?
0 Replies
 
NecromanticSin
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jan, 2010 03:13 am
@Khethil,
Smile

at 80pages,i started to wonder if fetishes were promoted by such writtings or has things like what was written in the book have always gone on ? To the fullest of Pissing in mouths,and whoring of young litt girls, insect and swapping of wives,or was that a big over the top to give the book a dramatic feel? I haven't even got to the punishments or torture yet,only sexual things but the ''story teller'' gives great details of a young,misguided life,and I didn't know what to think for a momment.

(Moderator edit: post moved to more appropriate thread. jgw)

If anyone cares to discuss.
Caroline
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jan, 2010 06:34 am
@Khethil,
Yes the Marquis de Sade, a true sadist! I think it's always good to go back and see what man has been capable of, some of the worst atrocities occured in history. Tell me Khethil, did you find it interesting despite the horrors? I always find history fascinating. Ghengis Khan is another one, I don't remember which of the two, I think maybe Ghengis, poured hot metal into peoples eyes. Elizabeth Bathroy is another infamous killer but she was a serial killer who bathed in the blood of young maidans not before getting her kicks out of torturing them and stuff, another sick fiend. Fascinating stuff.
Ok thanks, I really enjoyed your post Khethil, great stuff.Smile
0 Replies
 
Catchabula
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jan, 2010 07:07 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;24243 wrote:
I have not read the Marquis' book, though I have seen the movie Quills. If you want a slight taste of what it seems this book will delve into, you may want to check out the movie.


There are several filmings of this book. One is an episode in Bunuel's "L"Age d'Or", if I remember well, but that is pretty lame for present day standards. Way more disturbing even for today is "Salo or the 120 days of Sodom" by Pier Paolo Pasolini. The film was forbidden in many countries when it came our (somebody remembers "Ai no korida" by Nagisha Oshima? In english "The Empire of the Senses"). The Pasolini film was the only one I have seen until now with a bibliography in the credits. One should do that more.
0 Replies
 
salima
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jan, 2010 08:02 am
@Khethil,
the marquis was a real person, right? this book is non fiction? somehow i had the impression he was a sort of legend, that no one could verify exactly existed but attached the legend to some person or other...you mean this is that guy?

i guess jeffrey dahmer could have written a book too...is he still alive by the way?
0 Replies
 
Caroline
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jan, 2010 08:10 am
@Khethil,
Yes the Marquis de Sade was a real person. He was an 18th C. french writer and nobleman who wrote 120 Days of Sodom whilst incarcerated.
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jan, 2010 10:29 am
@NecromanticSin,
NecromanticSin;118776 wrote:
Smile

at 80pages,i started to wonder if fetishes were promoted by such writtings or has things like what was written in the book have always gone on ? To the fullest of Pissing in mouths,and whoring of young litt girls, insect and swapping of wives,or was that a big over the top to give the book a dramatic feel? I haven't even got to the punishments or torture yet,only sexual things but the ''story teller'' gives great details of a young,misguided life,and I didn't know what to think for a momment.

(Moderator edit: post moved to more appropriate thread. jgw)

If anyone cares to discuss.


I suppose fetishes might have been promoted by these kinds of writings; though my suspicion is that they've always gone on to some greater or lesser extent.

It's a disturbing book; completely unashamed without compassion or apologies. Why I don't see any real *need* for people to read such graphic decadence, I believe many thing that many contemporary views "corruption" and debauchery see it as something recent; which clearly its not. Also, at the time I read it, I was in my "learn all there is - no matter how good - no matter how bad"-phase.

Prepare to be disturbed - it's definitely not for everyone.

---------- Post added 01-09-2010 at 10:34 AM ----------

Caroline;118783 wrote:
... Tell me Khethil, did you find it interesting despite the horrors? I always find history fascinating.


Yea, I actually did. I was perplex yet enthralled by how much they reveled - with unabashed praise - such disgusting and unethical behavior. How does a mind think like that? How? Why? So yea... in this aspect, it was revealing in dispelling some naivety.

I think that - for me anyway - such an insight came at a price. I actually felt myself retching at some of the graphic descriptions. For that, I purchased increased knowledge at just how different, how "off" humans can really be (in this particular direction).

Thanks
Caroline
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jan, 2010 10:44 am
@Khethil,
Well for the Marquis de Sade he got a taste for it when he was younger, he lived in hypocrisy at a young age when he lived with religous relatives where his uncle kept a mistress and ran a brothel, he also attended a college where pupils were publically beaten, at the age of 14 he joined the military, perhaps this where the seeds for violence were first sown, each case is different. I totally agree with you in that you only have to look in the past to find the worst atrocities.

---------- Post added 01-09-2010 at 12:48 PM ----------

PS, the memories of such atrocities fade in time, I dunno I've read so many, first it was because I'm a woman and wanted to see how most serial killers ensnared their victims, now it's just out of interest.
0 Replies
 
Catchabula
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jan, 2010 02:04 pm
@Khethil,
Khethil;24219 wrote:
OVERVIEW: Written in 1785, the title of this work was originally to be psychopathia sexualis. After reading it, I think that probably would have been a better title.
0 Replies
 
NecromanticSin
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jan, 2010 04:47 pm
@Khethil,
Khethil;118812 wrote:
Also, at the time I read it, I was in my "learn all there is - no matter how good - no matter how bad"-phase.

Prepare to be disturbed - it's definitely not for everyone.




I'm in that phase,but i also like this kind of stuff. I use to wanna be a criminal psychologist,and would read many murderer books and what not. So i think i'll do fine.
thunderd0me
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 07:35 pm
@NecromanticSin,
nevermind, not important...
0 Replies
 
 

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