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N.2/2021 Filosofia e generi letterari nel XVIII secolo

Sade, poète et philosophe à la Bastille

Marc Hersan

Published in December, 2021

Sade, poet and philosopher at the Bastille.

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The article tries to shed light on a sometimes-overlooked aspect of Sade’s oeuvre: the philosophical poems written during his incarceration at the Bastille. Although Sade most likely did not plan to collect these poems, they are worthy of scholarly attention insofar as they represent the only instance, in a phase in which the philosophical discourse of Sade’s novels is conveyed by characters, where the prisoner expresses his thought directly rather than through a fictional filter. This criminal philosophy does not seek proselytes, it rather amounts to a narcissistic self-celebration of the captive man.


self-destination, prison literature, Enlightenment, philosophical poetry, Sade.



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