Skip to content

Re-assessing the Marquis de Sade: Track 1

Featuring: Audio Audio

Donatien Alphonse François, better known as The Marquis de Sade, is infamous throughout literature and popular culture for a life and body of work that pushed boundaries. Literally synonymous with sexual and violent excess, his reputation as a writer is often clouded by the extreme nature of his work. In a series of lively and engaging discussions, Alex Barber, Angelica Goodden and Timo Airaksinen re-assess both the man and his writing in social, historical and literary contexts, providing an insight into an often-misunderstood figure with much to say about the culture that produced him. This material forms part of The Open University course A207 From Enlightenment to Romanticism c.1780-1830.

By: The iTunes U team (Programme and web teams)

  • Duration 50 mins
  • Updated Monday 12th October 2009
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under History & The Arts
Share on Google Plus Share on LinkedIn View article Comments

Track 1: Re-assessing the Marquis de Sade

A short introduction to this album.

© The Open University 2009

Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 Re-assessing the Marquis de Sade    A short introduction to this album. Play now Re-assessing the Marquis de Sade
2 The materialist philosophy    De Sade's status as a literary philosopher and his relationship to materialist philosophy is expertly analysed, along with several pertinent readings from his works. Play now The materialist philosophy
3 Normalising the abnormal    De Sade's works are filled with violent and sexual excess, but what are his motives for producing such provocative material? Shock, or something more? Play now Normalising the abnormal
4 De sade and the french revolution    How did the revolution inspire and inform de Sade's writing, if at all? The historical aspect and de Sade's personal experiences are analysed and explained. Play now De sade and the french revolution
5 Horror and imprisonment    Imprisoned for much of his adult life, de Sade's writings are rife with institutional motifs. This discussion highlights and explains principal autobiographical and fictional examples. Play now Horror and imprisonment

Copyright information

Tags, Ratings and Social Bookmarking



Reload rating

Be the first to post a comment

Leave a comment
Sign in or create your OpenLearn account to join the discussion.

We invite you to discuss this subject, but remember this is a public forum.
Please be polite, and avoid your passions turning into contempt for others. We may delete posts that are rude or aggressive; or edit posts containing contact details or links to other websites.

Other content you may like

The Secret Life of Books: The episodes Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

The Secret Life of Books: The episodes

Lose yourself in the plot of each episode from the BBC Four series The Secret Life of Books.

Stuart Hall: An OU perspective Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The Open University article icon

Society, Politics & Law 

Stuart Hall: An OU perspective

Jessica Evans offers a perspective on what the late Stuart Hall was like as a colleague and teacher at The Open University.

Learn some nonsense by heart Creative commons image Icon Carissa Andrea Thrush [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr Creative Commons under Creative-Commons license activity icon

History & The Arts 

Learn some nonsense by heart

Go on an adventure with Edward Lear's Nonsense Songs, as you find a nonsense alphabet of animals and learn some nonsense by heart.

The real Swallows Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The Open University video icon

History & The Arts 

The real Swallows

See the draft of Swallows and Amazons and hear about the children’s characters. 

5 mins
World-Changing Women: Caroline Norton Copyright free image Icon Copyright free: Public Domain article icon

History & The Arts 

World-Changing Women: Caroline Norton

After experiencing an unhappy marriage an even unhappier divorce, Caroline Norton successfully campaigned to make women equal to men in the eyes of the law. Discover more about her life...


History & The Arts 

360 Degrees of Separation

How does Surrealism relate to Freud? What does Freud have to do with the Prisoner's dilemma? Josie Long takes you on a whistle-stop tour and finds the connections between Surrealism, Psychoanalysis, Game Theory, Nuclear Fission and microbes that may have played a key role in the origins of life.

10 mins
Artists and authorship: the case of Raphael Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Scala, Florence free course icon Level 3 icon

History & The Arts 

Artists and authorship: the case of Raphael

Individual artists have been the traditional focus of art history, but how do we evaluate the figure of the artist? This free course, Artists and authorship: the case of Raphael, takes the life of Raphael as a case study. You will examine sixteenth-century sources to explore the creation of artistic authorship in the early modern era. The course explores past and current approaches to the artist in terms of authorship, identity and subjectivity. You will consider issues such as the relationship between the artist's life and work, the enduring notion of 'genius' and the artist as a source of meaning.

Free course
10 hrs
When the voluntary sector worked for the state Creative commons image Icon By comedy_nose via Flickr under Creative Commons license under Creative-Commons license article icon

History & The Arts 

When the voluntary sector worked for the state

This year marks 100 years since the National Insurance Act. On 16 December 2011, administration of national insurance was placed in the hands of mutual aid bodies. We look at the lessons learnt since

Making sense of art history Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

History & The Arts 

Making sense of art history

You can prepare for this free course, Making sense of art history, by looking around you. It's likely that wherever you are you'll be able to see some images. It's also likely that many of these will be intended to have some sort of effect on you. In the course itself you will be exploring the power of images via a study of contemporary art from the 1980s onwards. Taking the time to look beyond the immediate appearance of an art work to consider what the artist might be trying to say can be immensely rewarding.

Free course
5 hrs