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MARQUIS DE SADE & GUIDO CREPAX
Justine


click to enlarge

Grove, New York, 1981
price: $12.50


A novel that's more than two hundred years old clearly has no place on this site at all, but I'd like to plead extenuating circumstances here and pretend that I'm including it because this version dates from only 1979. Actually, of course, it's just a way of sneaking the Divine Marquis on to the site, but I'm sure you'll forgive the indulgence.

The whole point of de Sade's work is the philosophy and the political satire - if you find the pornography exciting, then you really need to look carefully at yourself. But the triumph of illustrator Guido Crepax is that he's added an erotic element to what would otherwise be some fairly intense sexual violence, and this is really quite a lovely piece of work. It helps, of course, that it's Justine, one of de Sade's more straightforward texts (not dissimilar to Caleb Williams with added perversion), but even so Crepax deserves massive credit for keeping much of the philosophical thought intact and presenting it in an easily digestible format. (The original requires a fair amount of patience for those unaccustomed to 18th century prose styles.)

I don't think that anyone ever did a De Sade For Beginners and, in the absence of such a work, this graphic novel is the closest you're going to get. Here's a nice, safe, non-pornographic illustration of its sly humour:


ARTISTIC MERIT: 4/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
5/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
5/5


see also...

Jacqueline, Daughter of the Marquis de Sade

psst ... wanna see some more De Sade?
Click here
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