Wig Fetishist

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)—

14. One of Sade’s principal persecutors, Police Lieutenant Sartine, suffered from a psychopathological condition which in a just (equal) society would have entailed his imprisonment on the same footing as his victim: he was a wig fetishist: “His library contained all kinds of wigs of all sizes: he put them on according to the circumstances; among others, he owned a good-luck wig (with five loosely hanging little curls) and a wig for interrogating criminals, a kind of snake headdress called the inexorable” (Lély, II, 90). Aware of the phallic value of the braid, we can imagine how Sade must have longed to clip the toupees of his hated cop.