[No:167][Jordan Steuernagle]  [98/7/21  15:7:53]  
Greetings.. I have just recently began researching de Sade, and I have heard he influenced Lautreamont, aka Isidor Ducasse, and I have read Les Chants de Maldoror, which I enjoyed immensely. Now, Les Chants de Maldoror was a misanthropic text, and Lautreamont was a misanthrope, am I correct? So, anyways, what was de Sade's philosophies on, persay, metaphysics, epistemology, logic, humanity/mankind, religion, etc? And was he anything in particular, persay an Existentialist, or a nihilist maybe, or even a misanthrope? Anyhow, if you could help me with this, I would appreciate it. Either email me, or reply to this message board, anyone. I thank you in advance.

[No:169][cookie]  [98/7/23  2:18:43] [Comment Number-168] 
paolini's "salo", based on de sade's "120 days of sodom" has been banned in austrlia. i had to get a refund for the ticket i bought. it is not even avbl on video. so i am trying to get hold of a copy - any aussies here who could advice me on a place to purchase? kinda wary of buying over the net... ta, cookie.

[No:170][radu]  [98/7/23  9:51:53] [Comment Number-169] 
What do you suppose is the best starting point if one were to begin studying the works and philosophy of de sade? I myself find myself strangely drawn towards the idea of the corruption of innocence and wonder if this plays a part in de sade's work.

[No:171][Laird Ruthven]  [98/7/23  16:14:26] [Comment Number-171] 

In answer to the questions posed by Jordan S....
Though de Sade was most assuredly a philosopher, he was not kind enough to write a clear cut manifesto expressing his ideals in full and beyond question; however, after reading most of his surviving works, I believe it is possible to confortably fit him into the Western philosophical tradition. I think in de Sade one finds an interesting combination of individualism (Locke, Hume) coupled with epicureanism and a touch of natural elitism in the Nietzschian sense. In de Sade's view, as I see it at least, man is nothing more than another animal, subject to all the same impulses as any other animal, and yet, though an animal, man represents the apex of the food chain, i.e. the supreme animal. As animals, it is only proper that we behave as our natural instincts dictate and yet man has sought to suppress these natural instincts as a means of putting ourselves above, or beyond, the confines of natural order, and to de Sade this is criminal. Religion, morality, ethics, and so on are artificial constructs devised to suppress man's natural hedonistic desires, generally for the profit of those elites wise enough to cast aside these chains. An important aspect to de Sade is that the student must always seperate his overall philosophy from the philosopphical arguements he used to illustrate individual points. Failure to do this leaves one in the same qunadry as Biblical scholars continuiously find themselves in, i.e. constant contradiction. I think the best way to view de Sade against the background of Western philosophy is to view his ideas as an extreme extension of David Hume, limited among people by a streak of Nietzschian natural elitism, and perverted by hedonistic epicureanism. Contrary to your suggestion, I do not think he was a misanthrope as very rarely do you see his heros stand alone against humanity, instead, one sees an elite and intimate group (his fraternity of libertines) who lives naturally and respects those others who do so as well, while exploiting those who do not, i.e. the untermenschen. I believe de Sade's life also helps to explain this confluence of ideas. The epicureanism and elitism inevitably have roots in the fact that he was both born and raised in the upper aristocracy, not merely noble, but wealthy and protected as well. However it is obvious that somewhere along the line he rejected his class and station because of the blantant hypocracy of the corrupt nobility of eighteenth century France. Here lies an interesting question as well, did he reject his class because of its hypocracy or merely because his sexual crimes at the time were punished by the crown although similar, less severe, crimes were ignored? Anyway, he rejected his class, becoming a noted revolutionary activist after the formation of the Republic, and as individualism (individual liberty) was a major ideological cornerstone of the revolution, it only makes sense that his fondness of these ideas was loudly professed in most of his writings, which of course date after the revolution. I believe he simply wanted more freedom than any society then, or even now, is willing to grant to the individual.

This is long enough for the time being, if however, you wish to continue this discussion feel free to respond and be assured I will do like wise.

[No:172][Laird Ruthven]  [98/7/23  16:19:22] [Comment Number-172] 

To Radu...Although I probably wouldn't suggest it as a starting point, if it is the corruption of innocence that holds an odd appeal to you, as it does myself, try Justine.

[No:173][radu]  [98/7/24  4:0:38] [Comment Number-173] 
I dipped into philosophy in the bedroom last nite, and think Eugenie too willing to enter into a life of corruption. Her hypocritical societal mores should be more of an impediment. What good is innocence if it is so easily lost? Then the debaucher--the libertine--derives little pleasure from the turning. I will dip into Justine. Any fans of Jess Franco? I hear his films take a good deal of inspiration from De Sade. He even has a film called Eugenie.

[No:174][Laird Ruthven]  [98/7/24  11:53:36] [Comment Number-174] 

To be honest, I am not familiar with Jess Franco aside from a few off remarks by a friend of mine. I have been largely disappointed by most film treatments of de Sade or films claiming inspiration from the Marquis. Are you aware of any good websites discussing J. Franco?

[No:175][Jordan Steuernagle]  [98/7/24  13:41:10]  
Laird Ruthven: I thank you for your in depth analysis. Hmmm.. Are you familiar with the `religion' Satanism? Anyhow, the way you described de Sade sound remarkably akin to Satanism. (To learn more about Satanism, purchase The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey, or point ye browser to Yahoo! under religions.) Anyhow, I just picked up The Misfortunes of Values today, and it seems promising, although I would have preferred 120 Days Of Sodom.. But alas, there was no English translation to be had at the local bookstore.. Anyhow..

[No:176][radu]  [98/7/24  23:29:12] [Comment Number-175] 
The online 'zine Dark Waters has been reviewing movie after movie of Franco's. Do have a look and give me your thoughts. There's the website the Francofile, too, but Dark Waters is all you'll need. I am always seeking movies which depict the loss of innocence. However, anyone can imagine the piece of crap movies which tend to depict this. More often than not, it's some slutty chick whose "innocence" act is about as believable as a blizzard in Florida.

[No:177][Laird Ruthven]  [98/7/27  1:59:7] [Comment Number-176] 

Jordan S...Yes, I am familiar with that crude and obnoxious little mediocrity named LaVey. While it is true that LaVey stole some of his ideas from de Sade, as he did many other notable thinkers, I believe if de Sade were alive today he would get a good laugh out of LaVey. To begin with, de Sade would lend no credence LaVey's pathetic metaphysical/religious ramblings (i.e. the "Infernal names," the spells, and other such gibberish found in the "Satanic Bible") as their can be no doubt that de Sade rejected the pretense of any and all supernatural phenomena. Secondly, LaVey's "ideas" do not constitute a sound philosophical system, being instead, an odd jumbling of various ideas put forward by real thinkers haphazardly thrown together at the whim of LaVey's simple intellect. This becomes apparent when one sees that he boils his ideas down to a series of simple oneliners which do not stand on their own merit. For example, the famous "Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law" line; presumably this also applies to those who desire to burn Satanists at the stake, not so? This also applies to those who want to be devout Catholics as well I assume, meaning of course that this particular oneliner applies to any belief system thereby denuding Satanism of any independent merit. Of course LaVey does not really deserve the expenditure of so many words therefore I'll stop wasting my time. I would suggest that unlike any of Lavey's drivel, de Sade's philosophical system does stand as a comprehensive independent outlook able to stand on its own merit.

Radu...I read the reviews of Jess Franco's films you suggested on the Dark Water's site, yet feel uncomfortable commenting without actually seeing the films in question. To be honest, by the reviews, I cannot tell if these movies represent artisitc films based on de Sade or merely b-rate 1960's porno. I have a friend who specializes in obtaining rare and hard to find videos, so I will try to call upon him to locate a Jess Franco film for me. After actually seeing one or more of his films I will be able to actually give a fair review and/or opinion.

[No:178][Diana]  [98/7/27  7:6:57]  
I'd like to know if any of you can answer me a question.... I really need to know what kind of incidence had the Sade's thought in the French Revolution.... how and why?

[No:179][Jordan Steuernagle]  [98/7/27  14:21:14]  
Laird Ruthven: I agree with you there. I was once into Satanism, but it didn't seem to suit me, for Satanism condones violence, and being human I certainly do have violent tendencies, but I do not participate in the general `Hey, you wanna go man?' etc, if you know what I am speaking of. I find violence pointless and absurd, for what does violence prove? Nothing whatsoever. But, of course, that is merely my own opinion, and I do not pretend to speak for everyone, although I disagree with violence. (breath) I do somewhat of the same thing that LaVey does, but not particularly.. For example, I do think for myself, (or at least I tend to think so, maybe I'm deceiving myself, who knows?) yet if I find a philosophy which interests me, and tends to go along with my philosophies, then I go into an in depth analysis of it, and try to find out as much as I can about it. I would have to say that I am a misanthrope / selective nihilist, if it comes down to labels. But de Sade's philosophy is interesting, and I find that one part of it stands out at the moment, which is, correct me if I am wrong, something to the effect of `Pleasure is wasted if it is shared.' Anyhow..

[No:180][radu]  [98/7/28  0:8:36] [Comment Number-180] 
Perhaps I do not necessarily address Sadean philosophy when I speak of this corruption of innocence. Perhap innocence and corruption are more illusory than they appear in my imagination. But what of this sexual desire, the kinkiness of women suffering? More than simply them suffering, but them having their wills molded as if they were clay. Hypnotism or a drug which turns coyness to voluptuousness, or fear to arousal. I like a film where the heroine prevails, but in the end she is sitting on the ground laughing insanely, her sanity totally shattered by the ordeal she has been through. I think misogyny is a simplistic label for this. It is kinky to watch, and a heterosexual male naturally would prefer it to be a woman who suffers. Plato wrote, "The good ones are those who are content to merely dream what others actually practice." The imagination is in love with crime, I think. Is this sadism? This is, I realize, more a sexual than a philosophical thing. Incidentally, I will be the first to proclaim to all that much of this perversion on my part comes from my current dreadful disfunctionality. These desires perhaps are not felt by healthy people.

[No:181][Jordan Steuernagle]  [98/7/28  13:7:44]  
radu: Hrmm.. I just felt like commenting on your last remark, that being `These desires perhaps are not felt by healthy people.' Welp, you see, think of it in this particular light as well.. I am not much of one for psychology, but do you think an `insane' person knows he/she is `insane'? Because `insane' people could quite possibly believe they are completely functional and healthy, whereas the populace, or society would believe they are insane. (shrug) In my opinion, you have to regard things at all angles. But, as they say, ignorance is bliss, and I agree whole heartedly.. The only problem is I have spiralled downward into `the abyss' much too far to come out of it. Anyhow..

[No:182][radu]  [98/7/28  13:52:21] [Comment Number-182] 
Jordan, what has insanity to do with it, though? Unhealthy and insane certainly ain't synonymous. Anyway, I've thought about this, and I realize this corruption of innocence has been around for some time. That's what vampirism is all about. In Dracula, when Lucy becomes a vampire, her facial features turn "voluptuous." But I don't mean to impose here. I'm not sure my discussion pertains sufficiently (at all) to De Sade. However, if you guys do want to explore this, cool. Let me know.

[No:183][Jordan Steuernagle]  [98/7/29  13:49:57]  
radu: What I meant by my comparison to unhealthy with insanity was that `unhealthiness' is in the eye of the beholder. Whereas you may think that you are healthy, someone else may think the same thing, and someone else may think you are unhealthy. It is all perception. But, when perception meets fact, thus does it become reality. For instance, if I believed the sun was blue (which I don't) and everyone else believed it was yellow, thus would it be a perception by myself, and thus would it be fact that it is yellow, and not blue, for the majority rules, does it not? But then, if no one agreed upon any one definite color, thus would it NOT be fact, nor reality, but it would all be perception. (shrug)

[No:184][radu]  [98/7/30  10:50:10] [Comment Number-184] 
Well, all righty then. Gee whiz. Not a lot of people on this board! Pity. I'm looking for a message board where the sort of thing I've been talking about can be discussed without anyone getting offended and with interesting conversations developing.
Any suggestions? A message board where the perverse and the sexual (in films--How sad for me!) can be discussed without it degenerating into a lot of obscene drivel.

[No:186][Jordan Steuernagle]  [98/8/2  14:46:16]  
radu: My apologies if I am being slow here, but are you insinuating that the discussions upon this board, (primarily by me, so you say, I guess.) are non-interesting, obscene drivel? Well, you are entitled to your opinion, but if that is what you were implying, then it is you who is being offensive. And please allow me to remind you that no one has hand cuffed you to this discussion board, and you are free to come & go as you please. (shrug)

[No:187][radu]  [98/8/3  0:19:26] [Comment Number-187] 
No, Jordan, I'm implying no such thing. The obscenities I am referring to are on the sex message boards elsewhere. What I am saying is, A) This board seems pretty dead. Not many postings, and B) I was asking if anyone could recommend a sexual message board that isn't obscene drivel.

[No:188][Laird Ruthven]  [98/8/3  6:42:25] [Comment Number-188] 

To all...I must apologize for the delay in responding to the interesting questions and statements here, however, I reserve the right to comment at my leissure.

That being said, first I would like to reply to Jordan's #179...
To begin with, I suppose I should indicate that I do not share your aversion to violence, stupid asinine street violence yes, but violence in general, no. Whether we choose to admit it or not, all human society is based upon either violence or the threat thereof, and I find it rather silly to pretend that this isn't so in the interest of political correctness. Then again, as you said, everyone is fully entitled to thier own opinions.

The lack of particularity you mention in following LaVey's advice is precisely what makes his entire philosophy a pathetic joke. Most free people do follow these basic concepts whether they be Satanists, die-hard Catholics, hillybilly Baptists, or empirical atheists. To point out the obvious is no relevelation regardless of the context.

I applaud your interest in philosophy as it shows you to be intelligent enough to question conventional wisdom and will ultimately allow your perspectives to see all the angles. A man, without exploring the vast realms of philosophy, can never have a truly open mind. As another noted French philosopher (Victor Cousin) put it, "True philosophy invents nothing; it merely establishes and describes what is." Of course these establishments and descriptions may vary as more than the forms of snowflakes, and here we find the true virtue of human intellect.

You wrote, "Pleasure is wasted if it is shared" as what you gained from de Sade, and to be honest this threw me into quite a confusion. To begin with, I am not sure from whence you devised this line. Off the top of my head, I can think of no pleasures enjoyed by de Sade's elite "fraternity of libertines" (as I phrase it) which are not shared among their ranks. as a matter of fact, I believe de Sade took great pleasure in fantasizing of his victims being not merely victimized by his heros, but also by as many others who could appreciate the degradation and humiliation of the victim. However, I can see the gluttonous aspects of his appetites as well, so I would rephrase your statement to say something akin to "When given the opportunity, take all the pleasure you can." Perhaps this could be phrased better, but I just hope to send the gist of the sentiment.

[No:189][Laird Ruthven]  [98/8/3  7:28:45] [Comment Number-189] 

To continue...I will respond to Radu's #180...

I suppose I must start by agreeing with Jordan's opinion that the notions of healthy and unhealthy are strictly in the eye of the beholder; howver, I will expand upon this notion by establishing it in a different context. The notions you refer to as innocence and corruption also fall under the authority of perspective as well; as such notions are pure abstractions based upon the popular culture within which we find ourselves surrounded. For example, I share your stimulation at the notion of corrupting the innocent, and yet your idea of innocent and mine may differ rather widely. Your explainations of why the victim which we both enjoy is female, and at least in my case, rather young; does, as you point out, come from our hetrosexuality as well as the popular cultural mythos that paints women as being somewhat weaker, though not in tangible terms. However, I take strong exception to your suggestion that such desires, at least in my case, reflect misogyny. I find that many of my best friends are women and yet this does not curtail my sexual Sadism in the least when it comes to physical relations. Admittedly, I put women into two seperate catagories, those whom I respect and befriend and those I view as chattel, to be manipulated and exploited for my personal gratification. But misogyny stipulates a true hatred of women, and this is an attribute I do not believe I hold.

I would suggest that as opposed to misogyny, the issue is one of a desire for absolute power over another. In the West, where men have been emasculated through equalitarian dogma, men still seek that dominence which they enjoyed for most of human history. WHether this is a matter of psychology or a matter of genetic predisposition is immaterial as the desire exists nonetheless. For this reason I seriously doubt the equalitarian mythos will survive in the face of time and turmoil. {A digression, but I think it will help illustrate the point---Women had remained inferior until the 1920's when the labors of the early feminists finally began to pay off as times had become easy going and could aford the luxury of assertive women; but in the thirties and forties once times again bacame difficult in the face of the depression and the second World War, Women again accepted their secondary nature (hence Ward and Joan Cleaver) until the 1960's when circumstances were prosperus enough to allow the luxury of assertive women yet again. There also exists a strong parallel in the history of the late Roman Republic and elsewhere.}

Anyway, digression aside, I believe that ultimately the matter comes down to the quest for absolute dominence over another person. The physical violation of one's person, is a very clear message to this effect in that such violation is a significant means of illustrating one's power over another; and yet rape does not truly enslave the victim, it merely illustrates a physical inability to defend oneself against a greater force. Hence the simple of mind can see ultimate power in the act of rape, nd yet the victim remains herself, possibly even strong and sovereign. To the true sexual Sadist, who is not necessarily a philosophical Sadist, the physical domination represented by rape is simply not enough. I believe the true sexual Sadist shuns the notion of rape as he/she seeks complete and utter control over the object of their desire, mind, body, and soul. Herein lies true power, when the victim not only tolerates the abuse, but asks for it, longs for it, and even derives some perverse pleasure from it. Representations of such physical acts in literature, art, film, and even cheap porno merely plays upon the emasculated male's desire for this ultimate power.

You wrote, "The imagination is in love with crime, I think." This is both true and also reflects philosophical Sadism. That which is forbidden is always a greater temptation than that which is allowd for no better reason than the adventuristic of spirit and the dramatic always demand a degree of risk, a degree of criminality.

[No:190][Laird Ruthven]  [98/8/3  7:40:10] [Comment Number-190] 

To Jordan & Radu...You'll both have to forgive me the myriad of typos and poor phraseology in my responses to the two of you. A bit too much Seagrams this afternoon. Cheers...

[No:191][Laird Ruthven]  [98/8/3  7:43:57] [Comment Number-191] 

Postscriptum: Radu...I think you'll be hard pressed to find another board which is dedicated to notable conversation as opposed to silly cyber-sex drivel. This is the best I have been able to find and therefore I intend to remain quite active here.

[No:192][Jordan Steuernagle]  [98/8/3  10:56:3]  
radu: My sincerest apologies. I tend to over analyze things, and oftimes my analysis' are not correct, persay.

[No:193][radu]  [98/8/4  4:28:52] [Comment Number-193] 
Laird, you have made me very happy. Your description of sexual sadism entirely coincides with mine. One wants total domination--that of mind and desire--but let it not be 100 % total. The victim must yet possess behind her young eyes a small cowering, a remnant of shivering, frightened innocence. Lose that, and she has lost her individuality, and might as well be another you, having taken up residence in a woman's body. As I believe I have said, desire and sexual activity is hypnotized into her, or she could be under the influence of some aphrodisiac/narcotic. Of course, instead of hypnotism and dope, one may also use the will. That is to say, a fellow may talk and caress a woman into having sex with him. She is initially resistant, but in the end gives in utterly. This is depicted quite well in a 70's adult film called "All the Way in," in which a charismatic lech coaxes a receptionist into gradually disrobing for his camera and, of course, she ends up screwing him as well. But in the adult films of today, women must never be unwilling, nor can their wills be taken from them. Indeed, to place this fact in bold relief, often the woman approaches the man. The only sadistic entertainment today's adult films offer is in watching a particular starlet's decline. She begins (her career) young, with natural breasts, a pure-looking body, and a fresh face. As her career progresses, she has numerous breast implant operations, piercings, tattoos (perhaps abuses drugs), and ends up looking like a slut. This is a perverse pleasure for the sadist. But to return to the non-porno world, you ought to watch "Martin" (not the TV show. I mean the Romero film). It quite brilliantly illuminates male psychosexuality. There is the very telling line in it: "What's the use in having a girlfriend if you can't do whatever you want with her?"

[No:194][radu]  [98/8/4  4:32:59] [Comment Number-194] 
And did either of you catch "Lolita" last night? Oh, and Jordan, no apologies need to be tendered. No wrong had been done.

[No:195][Laird Ruthven]  [98/8/5  11:16:30] [Comment Number-195] 

Radu...I'm glad to see that share the same tastes. I'll check out that film you mentioned.

[No:196][radu]  [98/8/6  1:6:32] [Comment Number-196] 
Oh, but Laird, if we do share sexual imaginations, then would you be so kind as to perhaps recommend films and perhaps novels which explore these issues, aside from the Marquis I mean? Thank you in advance.

[No:197][Laird Ruthven]  [98/8/7  11:13:20] [Comment Number-197] 

Radu...Similar inclinations being beside the point, I must decline the invitation to offer recommendations of the kind requested. Judging by your previous missives, I must assume you are considerably more familiar with media treatments of such topics than I. Though such sentiments obviously hold an attraction for me, I am not preoccupied with such things and have far too many other interests to pursue every possible avenue in search of the material in question. I assume you understand.

[No:200][radu]  [98/8/7  23:9:14] [Comment Number-200] 
Oh, Laird. That is too bad. Oh well. I thought I was wasting my time confiding such perversities to people. You'd think if people shared an interest in something, somewhere might be gone with it. But never mind. Goodbye forever.