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Torr tells of how the writer’s 1978 polemic The Sadeian Woman allowed her to reconcile the different aspects of her life: her position of subjugation in the office, her desire to be a performer recognised for her skills, and her nightly transformation into the object of male sexual desire. As Torr states: In De Sade’s 1791 novel Justine ou les Malheurs de la Vertu (“Justine, or The Misfortunes of Virtue”), Justine, the titular character, is repeatedly subjected to violent rapes and humiliations. Her sister, Juliette, the heroine of the accompanying book Histoire de Juliette, ou les Prospérités du vice (“Juliette, or The Prosperities of Vice”), portrays the obverse of this tale of suffering femininity. By the time I had finished your book, I was really transformed – not exactly a Juliette, but I knew how to sell my body & at the same time how to maintain a sense of my own subjective reality within each strange place I would travel to. Pornography and the feminist movement

I have been composing letters to you in my head since I first read your book The Sadeian Woman 2 years ago but now I really have to do it as I leave for England in a week & I was hoping to maybe have the opportunity to meet you. [sic] Access-restricted-item true Addeddate 2011-12-12 22:40:23 Boxid IA174901 Camera Canon EOS 5D Mark II City London DonorThe pornographer has it in his power to become a terrorist of the imagination, a sexual guerilla whose purpose is to overturn our most basic notions of these relations, to reinstitute sexuality as a primary mode of being rather than a specialised area of vacation from being..." To be the object of desire is to be defined in the passive case. To exist in the passive case is to die in the passive case—that is, to be killed. This is the moral of the fairy tale about the perfect woman.” For most of human history, ‘literature,’ both fiction and poetry, has been narrated, not written—heard, not read. So fairy tales, folk tales, stories from the oral tradition, are all of them the most vital connection we have with the imaginations of the ordinary men and women whose labor created our world.” Pornography must always have the false simplicity of fable; the abstraction of the flesh involves the mystification of the flesh…it reduces the actors in the drama to instruments of pure function, so the pursuit of pleasure becomes in itself a metaphysical quest."

I don’t recall any point at which she says that Sade is an unreserved moral pornographer, in the sense that the whole of his work has this moral purpose. Instead, she says: Sade tortures and murders Justine because he thinks she's boring and the only form of entertainment he will get from her is torturing her and then killing her. Sade was probably fed up with virginal holier-than-thou heroines and I doubt it actually runs any deeper than that. Orgasm has possessed the libertine; during the irreducible timelessness of the moment of orgasm, the hole in the world through which we fall, he has been as a god, but this state is as fearful as it is pleasurable and, besides, is lost as soon as it is attained.

Indeed, if partial emancipation is to become a complete and true emancipation of woman, it will have to do away with the ridiculous notion that to be loved, to be a sweetheart and mother, is synonymous with being slave or subordinate. It will have to do away with the absurd notion of the dualism of the sexes, or that man and woman represent two antagonistic worlds… This book's primary thesis is that the Marquis De Sade is the father of modern feminism. For the uninitiated, De Sade's works are infamous for their depictions of sexual humiliation and cruelty. We get the term 'sadism' from the sex practices he fearlessly explored. He has burst into the Utopia of desire, in which only the self exists; he has not negotiated the terms of his arrival there, as gentle lovers do, but taken Utopia by force. See, the conquering hero comes. And, just as immediately, he has been expelled from it, a fall like Lucifer’s from heaven to hell." This coming to an end, this expulsion is an un-selfing. For all of the pleasure, it too is alienating.

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