British academy


A Different Sade: Food for Thought

Thursday 7 June 2007, 6pm to 7.30pm, followed by a drinks reception
The British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1

A British Academy discussion evening convened and chaired by Marian Hobson FBA, Queen Mary, University of London

With the publications of Sade’s correspondences, and his consecration in the Pléiade canon through Michel Delon’s excellent edition, after the monumental biography by Maurice Lever, not to speak of the much greater accessibility of much of his work through paper-back editions, the position of Sade in literary history is evolving. Much greater attention is being paid to his plays and to his short stories, while the sardonic pornography is seen as more embedded in its cultural content. A more nuanced picture of his production is emerging, and his work is now seen as key in understanding the ideological tensions of the Enlightenment, and the cross-over from the old literary world of the Ancien Régime to the new.

Almost 200 years to the day since Sade's final completed manuscript was seized from his room at Charenton, the event will discuss this new status, and to what degree the Sade of the older version is the twin or the black shadow of the newer, nicer and perhaps more approachable vision.

EVENT REPORT by Marian Hobson FBA


Katherine Astbury, University of Warwick: The respectable M. de Sade, literary critic

Bob Gillan, University of Manchester: Sade, Joseph de Maistre and Religion

Will McMorran, Queen Mary, University of London: Reading and Teaching Sade

Caroline Warman, Jesus College, Oxford: The ironic encounters of the Marquis de Sade and Jane Austen

Thomas Wynn, University of Exeter: Theatre matters: Sade the stubborn playwright


Response from Svein-Eirik Fauskevåg, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Response from Philippe Roger, Ecole des hautes Etudes Sociales, Paris