The 120 Days of Sodom

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Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade. The 120 Days of Sodom, or the School of Libertinage[1] (Les 120 Journées de Sodome ou l'école du libertinage).[[1]] Composed 1785. First publication 1904.[2] Available in English New York: Grove, Press, 1987. London, UK: Penguin, 2016.[3] Radford, VA: Wilder Publications, 2008.[4]

Extreme pornography, relevant here for one passage by "the infamous Duke de Blangis."[5]

“From an early age I set myself above the monstrous fantasies of religion, being perfectly convinced that the existence of the creator is a revolting absurdity in which not even children believe any more; there is no need for me to restrain my tastes in order to please Him, it is from Nature that I received these tastes, and I should offend her by resisting them – if they are wicked, it is because they serve her purposes. In her hands I am nothing but a machine for her to operate as she wishes, and there is not a single one of my crimes that fails to serve her; the greater her need, the more she spurs me on – I should be a fool to resist her. Only the law stands in my way, but I defy it – my gold and my influence place me beyond the reach of those crude scales meant only for the common people.”[6]

This speech is partly quoted in I Am the Night: "Queen's Gambit Accepted," the 6th and final episode of the 2019 TV series[7] by Jenkins + Pine and Studio T, shown on TNT, with the date given on IMDb as 2018 (which we assume date of acquisition for "distribution").[8]

Note earlier arguments of humans as partial mechanism by René Descartes and an argument for full mechanism by Julien Offray de La Mettrie, in the explicitly titled, Man a Machine. The quoted speech undermines the frequent combining of Nature with the organic and opposing them to the mechanical, the idea of our passions — the wicked ones, anyway — as animalistic as opposed to a more mechanical Reason. And, of course, any idea of Nature in such formulations as following the will of God or a cosmic, lawful orderliness — and, therefore, even far less pornographic violence as unnatural. Cf. and contrast A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (film) and novel.

RDE, Initial Compiler, 12Ap20