Approaching the writing of major intellectuals, artists, and philosophers need longer be daunting. How to Read is a new sort of introduction--a personal master class in reading--that brings you face to face with the work of some of the most influential and challenging writers in history. In lucid, accessible language, these books explain essential topics such as the historical context that frames de Sade's daring philosophy. John Phillips introduces the Marquis de Sade's highly original and thoroughly subversive depiction of human sexuality, and the philosophical and political thinking that underpins it. He shows how, though Sade's work continues to shock, it can also be seen as the logical conclusion of eighteenth-century materialism. As the only writer of his time who dared to put the body at the center of philosophy, Sade has a unique place in the history of modern thought. Extracts are taken from the entire range of Sade's literary, philosophical, and personal writings, including The 120 Days of Sodom, Philosophy in the Boudoir, Justine, Juliette, and his Last Will and Testament.
John Phillips is professor of French literature and culture at London Metropolitan University. He is the author of a number of books on French literature, including Forbidden Fictions: Pornography and Censorship in Twentieth-Century French Literature and Sade: The Libertine Novels. Simon Critchley is a best-selling author and the Hans Jonas Professor at the New School for Social Research. His books include Very Little...Almost Nothing, Infinitely Demanding, The Book of Dead Philosophers, The Faith of the Faithless, Bowie, Memory Theatre and Suicide.