Abstract

In the 1960s, both high theory and popular culture used the Marquis de Sade to link concerns about violence and social repression with an investment in sexual repression in the psychoanalytic sense. While Sade's writings suggest the incompatibility of complete sexual freedom with political emancipation, this apparent contradiction was meant to vanish within a framework of general liberation. I argue that the idea of general liberation failed to account for the increasing differentiation of society. In the case of Sade in particular, the elision of the distinction between intimacy and sexual pleasure allowed—and continues to enable—the notion that sexual acts translate into liberationist politics rather than creating potentially insoluble social conflicts.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6636
Print ISSN
0893-5378
Pages
pp. 351-379
Launched on MUSE
2006-02-10
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Ceased Publication
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