Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Monday, October 22, 2012

Manifesto Monday—To Libertines

The Marquis de Sade's introduction to his Philosophy in the Bedroom isn't exactly a manifesto, and while I wouldn't advise exactly emulating the characters in his work, I love the gusto of the writing, and the sentiment.

from Philosophy in the Bedroom by Marquis de Sade

To Libertines

of all ages, and of every sex, and of every inclination; it it you to whom I dedicate this work. Your passions, which the cold and dreary moralists tell you to fear, are nothing more than the means by which Nature seeks to exhort you to do Her work; surrender to these passions, therefore, and let the principles enumerated herein nourish you.

Lewd women: emulate the voluptuous Saint-Ange; submit yourself to pleasure's divine laws and ignore all which contradict them.

Young virgins: emulate the fiery Eugénie, throw off the restraints of your ridiculous religion, spurn the precepts of your idiotic parents; yield, instead, to the laws of Nature which logic describes, and to the arms of those who would be your lovers.

Lascivious men: follow the crafty Domancé; acknowledge no government save that of your desires, no limits save those of your imagination; and learn from him that it is only in exploring and expanding the sphere of your tastes and whims that you will find true pleasure.

To all: let us realize that we have been cast into this woeful life without our consent and have been assailed from the dawn of consciousness with the sophistries of those who would gain from our confusion; if we would snatch a brief moment of pleasure—if we would plant an occasional rose along life's rocky path—we must sacrifice everything to the demands of our senses; this is the lesson of the Bedroom Philosophers....

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