The merry Marquis de Sade is back with another witty chapbook in our Pocket Erotica series. The Self-Made Cuckold, translated from the French by RJ Dent, follows in the footsteps of the author’s Retaliation (Pocket Erotica #17), a similarly rare work sans the notorious content he is known for. Indeed, both titles contain no savage orgies nor flagellation. These little gems are —by comparison to The 120 Days of Sodom—libertine light and amusingly smutty. There are also strains of feminism running through both books.
For those who have never encountered de Sade, it should be pointed out that he was a gifted stylist whose sentences were exquisitely crafted. Here is how The Self-Made Cuckold begins:
One of the greatest deficiencies of ill-bred people is that they constantly utter a host of indiscretion, slanders or defamations on everyone that breathes, very often in the presence of people they do not really know. One cannot imagine the number of problems that this sort of idle chatter causes: what honest man can stand by and hear evil spoken about someone he cares for without reprimanding the fool who said it?
Indeed, who could ignore such an indignity, but that’s beside the point. The purpose of the quotation is to offer you an
hors d’oeuvre, the lilt and flow of the text.
We trust you’ll enjoy this humorous little feast.
The Self-Made Cuckold
Marquis de Sade
Translated by RJ Dent
Pocket Erotica No. 20
Paper; 60 pp., $10