Sade and Sollers: Hoax or Ventriloquism?


What if Sade were to send us a letter?

A strange idea, perhaps. For what would Sade have to tell us that he hasn’t already told us, an infinite number of times; what would this man, who, as Maurice Blanchot has famously told us, has already said everything, have left to say? Why would he need to speak to us, again, after all this time?

A strange idea. But let’s stay with it, let’s press it a little further. What if there were something left to be said? Or rather, what if Sade deduced, not that he hadn’t already told us everything, but that there was something we had not yet understood about his work, some part of his work that we had read but to which we had not yet paid sufficient attention, a kind of message that we had to this point missed despite its urgency—for us? What if Sade—thinking, speaking, writing from beyond the grave—decided that he had to transmit this message to us? What if Sade decided that there remained a secret he had not yet shared with us?

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