• Events
Jan 22
Barbara Stiegler 5801 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637
Upcoming Events in January: TRK 10361 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

Book Launch: Sade's Aline & Valcour

Join Contra Mundum Press, John Galbraith Simmons and Jocelyne Geneviève Barque and celebrate the first ever translation of Marquis de Sade's epistolary novel Aline & Valcour.

The infamous Marquis de Sade (1740–1814) wrote Aline & Valcour while in prison and the book was published in 1795. Banned for more than a century (although not pornographic), it has never before been translated into English. Now husband-and-wife translators John Galbraith Simmons and Jocelyne Geneviève Barque have brought this intriguing novel into the 21st century, supported by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts in 2011.

Aline & Valcour, or the Philosophical Novel combines popular genres: romance, travelogue, and adventure. Its locations are not limited to France but include Africa, Portugal, and Spain. Sexual themes are woven throughout, and one of its narrators, Léonore, is a proto-feminist. Although often scored for misogyny in his erotic fiction, Sade wrote about the same time as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and he held views comparable to hers concerning the rights of women.

The talk will be moderated by Christopher Winks (Comparative Literature, Queens College/CUNY). Enjoy libations and other delights.

Contact: Rainer J. Hanshe

As a literary icon, Marquis de Sade owns a significant place both in the popular imagination and in the university world. After World War II, owing to his ideas about the human capacity for cruelty, and later during the sexual revolution of the 1960s, Sade became a prophet and books about him today could fill a small library.