David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Hypatia 26 (3):461-477 (2011)
Reading Beauvoir's “Must We Burn Sade?” alongside the chapter called “Sexual Initiation” in The Second Sex, I argue that the problem with Sade is not his perversity, but his perpetual virginity. In The Second Sex, Beauvoir advances a new understanding of sexual initiation as a physical and spiritual movement toward the other, disqualifying any purely physical machination as sufficient to initiate one into “authentic erotic reality.” Sade's refusal of Eros as described in “Must We Burn Sade?” demonstrates that the Marquis's commitment to his characteristic Sadism in fact condemned him to a barren promiscuity, a trenchant and joyless virginity that he elected to perpetuate. Finally, I argue that we should reread Sadism not as a perversion but as based on the Greek model of the “virgin ailment.” As such, Sadism may turn out to be a more genuine and widespread threat than we ordinarily acknowledge
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References found in this work BETA
Debra Bergoffen (1996). The Philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir: Gendered Phenomenologies, Erotic Generosities. State University of New York Press.
Penelope Deutscher (2008). The Philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir: Ambiguity, Conversion, Resistance. Cambridge University Press.
Fredrika Scarth (2004). The Other Within: Ethics, Politics, and the Body in Simone de Beauvoir. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Judith Butler (2003). Beauvoir on Sade: Making Sexuality Into an Ethic. In Claudia Card (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Simone de Beauvoir. Cambridge University Press 168--88.
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