Hénaff, Marcel. Sade: The Invention of the Libertine Body. Trans. Xavier Callahan. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999. It is somewhat strange to be reviewing a book more than twenty years after its publication, twenty years after one's first encounter. One of the finest readings of the marquis de Sade, Marcel Hénaff's L'Invention du corps libertin (1978), has been translated into English by Xavier Callahan. Hénaff, in his preface to the new edition, refers somewhat apologetically to the "temerity" of youth, and observes that so much has been written on Sade in the intervening years that to engage with the more recent scholarship would require a new book--hence, aside from providing an updated bibliography, he has chosen to leave his work as it was. What might such a project have to offer us in today's critical landscape? Much. Sade is more widely read and studied than ever before. While the major texts--The 120 Days, Juliette, Philosophy in the Boudoir--continue to draw the most critical attention, scholars have also begun to attend more to Sade's dramatic writing, letters, and lesser-known novels. Whereas structuralist critics were wont to emphasize the logical functioning of Sade's discursive machines, more recent work on
SubStance – University of Wisconsin Press
Published: Jan 1, 2001
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