The great virtue of this volume is that it reveals a lighter, comic side of Sade. He was a man obsessed, like many great writers, and his obsessions are still present here: his hatred of all things pretentious, his loathing of a corrupt judicial system, his damning of hypocrisy and false piety. One of the great anarchists of all time, he was nevertheless far from mad (as many pretended) and these works of fiction shed another light on this most feverish of minds. But however heavy the subject, "The Mystified Magistrate" is infused with a light touch; it is revealing but never offensive.
Marquis de Sade, or Donatien-Alphonse-Francois de Sade, was born in 1740 into an aristocratic French family. Infamous for his libertine ways and volatile temper, he spent half his adult life behind bars under five different regimes. In prison, he became a writer-though he is most famous for his often censored erotic works, his political criticism influenced twentieth-century philosophers such as Barthes, Derrida, and Foucault. Richard Seaver was a publisher, editor, and translator. He passed away in 2009.
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