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Agamben's Philosophical Lineage$
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Adam Kotsko and Carlo Salzani

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474423632

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474423632.001.0001

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Marquis de Sade

Marquis de Sade

Chapter:
(p.193) 20 Marquis de Sade
Source:
Agamben's Philosophical Lineage
Author(s):

Christian Grünnagel

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474423632.003.0021

Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade (1740–1814), appears in European literature and culture like a ghostly figure whose prolific and monstrous works haunt not only nineteenth-century French novels and the surrealist artists (Magritte, Man Ray), but also thinkers, essayists and philosophers of the twentieth (and twenty-first) century.1 After the Second World War and the devastation that it caused worldwide, some influential thinkers – such as Klossowski, de Beauvoir, Horkheimer and Adorno2 – reread the oeuvre of the divine marquis, long decried as the product of a troubled, ill and wicked mind. Lacan and Adorno and Horkheimer even proposed structural parallels between Sade’s libertinage and Kant’s philosophy.3 Keeping this history of reception in mind, it is not completely surprising that Agamben includes commentaries on Sade’s political and philosophical writing in one of his own central projects, Homo Sacer, and comes back occasionally to Sade in other works.

Keywords:   Marquis de Sade, HOMO SACER, Political philosophy

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