Donatien Alphonse François Sade: Les Cent Vingt journées de Sodome [The One Hundred and Twenty Days of Sodom]

(2749 words)
  • Robert Gillan (University of Manchester)

On 29 February 1784 the Marquis de Sade was transferred from the prison of Vincennes to the Bastille. Twenty months later he began to copy up his first novel. In the interests of secrecy, he wrote on a roll of paper, made up of a number of small sheets glued end to end, measuring some twelve metres in length by twelve centimetres in width. Beginning on 22 October 1785 he worked each evening between seven and ten o'clock. By 28 November he had covered both sides of the manuscript, creating what has become perhaps the most infamous work of world literature.

The story of Les Cent Vingt Journées de Sodome [The One Hundred and Twenty Days of Sodom] can be summarized as follows. Towards the …

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Gillan, Robert. "Les Cent Vingt journées de Sodome". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 March 2007
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]