I came across this book in a public library. Not so long ago, I read a collection of short stories by Marquis de Sade. What attracted me to the author is his personal history and wit. I know that his work, beliefs and unsupressed sexual freedom is what caused him decades in jail and eventually years in insane asylum. Any time I have an opportunity to read his work, I do it because I am curious about this man and what he has to say.
Highly educated, sophisticated and eloquent, de Sade sets out to present his philisophy to the general public of his time. If one can get past de Sade's unrepressed desires one can learn about Marquis' opinions about personal freedom, his resistance towards institution of marriage, his dislike of possession (human, monetary, material and otherwise), Marquis' strong atheist beliefs. There is no doubt that Marquis finds morality to be relative and he sets the record straight on his stand on issues such as death penalty, murder, theft, incest, rape, etc. His arguments are strong and carefully composed. They are also way ahead of his time.
After finishing this work, I can only respect Marquis de Sade more. He is a kind of man willing to take the worst forms of punishment for his personal beliefs. In that respect, Marquis is a principled man, willing to sacrifice himself for the benefit of others. He loaths authority and his strong sense of individuality and quest for personal freedom is such that once can rarely find these days. De Sade is imortal in his own way and for no other reason but that one, his work needs to be read, understood and respected for what it is.