Memoirs of a Libertine

“He is not a pretty baby… but do not fear him,” said the nurse. Mirabeau’s father had his own opinion. From 1777 till 1780 he had his son locked up at the Chateau of Vincennes. Mirabeau’s maternal cousin was also there, but they did not get along: in spite of Mirabeau’s reputation in the matters of debauchery, De Sade apparently had higher standards. So what does it mean to be a real libertine? The cousins offer us two answers. Let us first look at Memoirs of a Libertine. Mirabeau’s protagonist is a gigolo who decides to settle down, but his marriage turns into a disaster: a trickster is tricked, a libertine is punished. Not so for De Sade, his Justine reverses the paradigm: to Sade the naivete is worse than a crime; consequently, the sin is rewarded, the crime is rewarded, the virtue is punished. Criminal! That is his answer, to be a true libertine you have to be an unrepentant criminal, a remorseful gigolo does not measure up. So cousin, looks like your nurse was right.


About versaillesgossip, before and after Francis Ponge

The author of the blogs Versailles Gossip and Before and After Francis Ponge, Vadim Bystritski lives and teaches in Brest France. The the three main themes of his literary endeavours are humor, the French Prose Poetry, the French XVII and XVIII Century Art and History. His writings and occasionally art has been published in a number of ezines (Eratio, Out of Nothing, Scars TV, etc). He also contributes to Pinterest where he comments on the artifiacts from the Louvre and other collections. Some of his shorter texts are in Spanish, Russian and French.
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