The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Without end: Sade’s critique of reason

Without end: Sade’s critique of reason
Without end: Sade’s critique of reason
The reputation of the Marquis de Sade is well-founded. The experience of reading his works is demanding to an extreme. Violence and sexuality appear on almost every page, and these descriptions are interspersed with extended discourses on materialism, atheism, and crime. In this bold and rigorous study William S. Allen sets out the context and implications of Sade's writings in order to explain their lasting challenge to thought. For what is apparent from a close examination of his works is the breadth of his readings in contemporary science and philosophy, and so the question that has to be addressed is why Sade pursued these interests by way of erotica of the most violent kind.

Allen shows that Sade's interests lead to a form of writing that seeks to bring about a new mode of experience that is engaged in exploring the limits of sensibility through their material actualization. In common with other Enlightenment thinkers Sade is concerned with the place of reason in the world, a place that becomes utterly transformed by a materialism of endless excess. This concern underlies his interest in crime and sexuality, and thereby puts him in the closest proximity to thinkers like Kant and Diderot, but also at the furthest extreme, in that it indicates how far the nature and status of reason is perverted. It is precisely this materialist critique of reason that is developed and demonstrated in his works, and which their reading makes persistently, excessively, apparent.
Bloomsbury
Allen, William
ef9ab226-9ae1-43be-a747-4fe394537116
Allen, William
ef9ab226-9ae1-43be-a747-4fe394537116

Allen, William (2017) Without end: Sade’s critique of reason , Bloomsbury, 224pp.

Record type: Book

Abstract

The reputation of the Marquis de Sade is well-founded. The experience of reading his works is demanding to an extreme. Violence and sexuality appear on almost every page, and these descriptions are interspersed with extended discourses on materialism, atheism, and crime. In this bold and rigorous study William S. Allen sets out the context and implications of Sade's writings in order to explain their lasting challenge to thought. For what is apparent from a close examination of his works is the breadth of his readings in contemporary science and philosophy, and so the question that has to be addressed is why Sade pursued these interests by way of erotica of the most violent kind.

Allen shows that Sade's interests lead to a form of writing that seeks to bring about a new mode of experience that is engaged in exploring the limits of sensibility through their material actualization. In common with other Enlightenment thinkers Sade is concerned with the place of reason in the world, a place that becomes utterly transformed by a materialism of endless excess. This concern underlies his interest in crime and sexuality, and thereby puts him in the closest proximity to thinkers like Kant and Diderot, but also at the furthest extreme, in that it indicates how far the nature and status of reason is perverted. It is precisely this materialist critique of reason that is developed and demonstrated in his works, and which their reading makes persistently, excessively, apparent.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 28 December 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 422631
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/422631
PURE UUID: 4ec31266-2675-4570-844f-e10747e2cbc3
ORCID for William Allen: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4731-2955

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Jul 2018 16:30
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 01:36

Export record

Contributors

Author: William Allen ORCID iD

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×