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N.2/2021 Filosofia e generi letterari nel XVIII secolo

Sade e la teoria del romanzo: una filosofia narrativa

Marco Menin

Published in December, 2021

Sade and the theory of the novel: a narrative philosophy.

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Sade’s work has often been elided from the history of philosophy due to its literary form: it is not in fact composed of philosophical writings in the strict sense, but of fictional writings, especially novels. This article shows, starting from a detailed analysis of the essay Idée sur les romans (1800), how Sade developed a real philosophical theory of the novel, which leads to a narrative vision of philosophy. The peculiar definition that Sade offers of the novel genre – which leads him to question the traditional didactic role of the eighteenth-century novel – allows him to build a perfect synergy between literature and philosophy. The novel is not for him a banal transposition of philosophical discourse, but the mechanism of production of philosophical reflection itself.


Sade, novel, literature, pornography, narrative philosophy.



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