Juliette, or the Prosperities of the Vice

l'Histoire de Juliette, ou les Prosperites du Vice

REVIEW: by Matthew, 98/9/5
Simply the best work by DeSade. His exposition of the ultimate individualist is without challenge in the canon of literature. The heroine commits herself to a series of actions chilling in their bloodthirstiness and delightful in their sexual content (there is a marvelous scene where she murders her own child for pleasure). Desade was a genius at exploring this woman's belief that the act justifies itself. The book can also be read by the committed Christian who seeks to examine pure evil in its most terrifying form. Hence, its elevation from pornography to literature.

REVIEW: by wwillsiii@aol.com from U.S.A. , 05/03/98
(taken from Amazon.com)

Juliette is the story of a woman who chooses resorts to vice as a means of extracting herself from the low social position typically held by women in the eighteenth century. Sade proves to be a fore-runner to Freud as a "sexologist" and "sociologist" as he describes the use of sex as a tool for domination and socialization. The debauchery of Juliette, termed "libertinage" is her way of controling men and gaining power in the society. She thus victimizes in place of being victimized, a theory worthy of comparison to Darwin's theory on survival of a species, but Juliette is ultimately a victime of herself. "Juliette" and Sade's philosophy are better understood having read "Justine or the Misfortune of Vertue" which depicts Justine, the sister of Juliette, on a similar voyage although drawing her strength from her virtuousness which ultimately renders her weak and vulnerable to an onslaught of men and women willing to take advantage of her sexually, monitarilly, and sentimentally.

Related Links

Deux extraits de Histoire de Juliette (online texts)