Section 1, “Life of Sade” — Roland Barthes’ Short Biography of The Marquis de Sade

From Roland Barthes’ “Life of Sade,” a short biography of The Marquis de Sade. Translated from the French by Richard Miller.  Read the entire essay at Supervert. (or here over the next few days, parceled out over 22 sections)—

1. Etymological chain: Sade, Sado, Sadone, Sazo, Sauza (village of Saze). Again, lost in this lineage, the evil letter. In attaining the accursed name, brilliantly formulated (it has engendered a common noun), the letter that, as we say in French, zebras, fustigates, the z, has given way to the softest of dentals.

 

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