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Polis

Print version ISSN 1870-2333

Abstract

VERAZA URTUZUASTEGUI, Jorge. Justine or the political, ethical and psychosocial criticism of our sadistic reality. Polis [online]. 2011, vol.7, n.1, pp. 141-173. ISSN 1870-2333.

The Marquis de Sade's work is a critique of modernity in its various aspects: economy, politics and culture, with emphasis on legal, ethic and psychosocial critique taking sexual and emotional behavior as key. All this is remarkable in his celebrated novel Justine, or The misfortunes of virtue which we will cover to counteract its false interpretations and of all Sade's work which have subsequently faded away its invaluable criticism of modernity, of profound actuality in the 21st century. The multiple misinterpretation of Sade's thinking has a common factor: interpreters confused Sade's libertines' character thinking -when they seek to justify their excesses- with Sade's own thought, thus they invert and misrepresent it; when precisely Sade built those characters and the thoughts they express in order to criticize them. But for the interpreters everything happens as if Sade ratifies them. This article compares Sade with Freud and continues the reinterpretation of Justine, linking it to Don Quixote and Candide, influences already noted by other authors, but that is here deepened and checked with another surprising influence, not treated until now, Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus. The reinterpretation, given the above said, allows recovery of Sade's work for analysis y criticism of contemporary society.

Keywords : modernity criticism; Sade; nature; sadism; religion; money-power; violence; sexual libido; Freud; Eros; Thanatos.

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