The Marquis de Sade

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Donatien Alphonse François, Comte de Sade: (born: June 2, 1740, Paris, France. died: Dec. 2, 1814, Charenton, near Paris).

The great unread. Many know the name but few have explored the works and history of the man, if man he was. For if he was a man he is no longer a man.

It is as if he were some great hero or criminal who perhaps existed in the ancient world, whose human attributes have been stripped away by time and deeds magnified by the retelling until nothing remains but the supra human. But de Sade was a man though this need not unduly detain us. Here we are concerned not with what he was, but with what he has become, what he has transfigured into. As such he is a useful example of how a mere mortal can become a mythic figure of superhuman powers he never had in life.

The chronology of de Sade is give thus

June 2, 1740Born Donatien Alphonse François de Sade
1754Begins a military career
1763Leaves the army following the end of the seven years war. Marries. Begins an affair with an actress, La Beauvoisin.
 1768First public scandle, the Rose Keller Affair. Rose Keller was a young prostitute he met on Easter Sunday 1768, in Paris. He took her to his house in Arcueil, where he locked her up and abused her sexually. She escaped and related the unnatural acts and brutality to persons in the neighbourhood, as well as showing them her wounds. De Sade was sentenced to the fortress of Pierre-Encise, near Lyon.
 1772 Released from Pierre-Encise. Journies to from his chateau of La Coste to Marseille. Engages Latour as servant and pimp.