Cover image for Writing the orgy : power and parody in Sade
Writing the orgy : power and parody in Sade
Frappier-Mazur, Lucienne.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Sade et l'écriture de l'orgie. English
Publication Information:
Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, [1996]

Physical Description:
x, 245 pages ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
1480 Lexile.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PQ2063.S3 F7313 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



Writing the Orgy provides an innovative, highly persuasive interpretation of eroticism in the Marqui de Sade's writing. Combining literary theory with methodologies borrowed from anthropology, history, and psychoanalysis, the book is a brilliant feminist reading of a text-- The Story of Julliete --often characterized as brutally aggressive and pornographic.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Intended for those with more than passing interest in the French writer, philosopher, and criminal, this book uses a moderate deconstructionist reading to look at the social and psychological underpinnings of de Sade's texts. Concentrating particularly on the lengthy postrevolutionary novel The Story of Juliette, Frappier-Mazur (Univ. of Pennsylvania) holds back from value judgments about the work as literature or as pornography, focusing instead on psychology and on language as a system of signs pointing to the politics embedded in sexual activity and the sexual implicit in political and social life. Knowledgeable references to secondary material include the work of Foucault, Lacan, and Barthes. This book should be of special interest to feminist critics who are divided on the subject of pornography. The slippery subject of parody and other "stylistic inversions" is at the heart of this fascinating study; however, there is one odd omission--no mention of the important novel The Story of O, a parody of the original parodist, de Sade. Nor does the author consider the nature of evil and the demonic, which has been elucidated in numerous books (e.g., Paul Oppenheimer's Evil and the Demonic, 1996). This is a densely written academic study with more than 50 pages of notes and bibliography; but unlike its subject, it does not anesthetize the reader with repetition or lugubrious machinations. Graduate; researchers. B. Wallenstein CUNY City College

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Part I Erotic Body, Social Body: Disorder and Ritualp. 5
1 Indistinction and the Hybridp. 11
2 An Ordered Indistinction: The Protocol of the Orgy and the Reduction of the Femininep. 22
3 The Hierarchy of the Orgy: The Power and the Lawp. 58
Part 2 Body, Text, Parodyp. 75
4 Repetition and Writing, Imaginary and Simulacrump. 77
5 Themes and Motifs: Inverting and Diverting Modelsp. 101
6 Voicing the Hybridp. 130
7 Figures of the Text: Parody and Politicsp. 160
Conclusion Which Sade?p. 182
Notesp. 185
Bibliographyp. 229
Indexp. 239