The Anti-Sade

One of de La Bretonne’s aspirations was to dethrone de Sade as the King of French Erotica. To do that de la Bretone was attempting to create a new genre in which he meant for voluptuousness to replace cruelty. Ideally de La Bretonne wanted to write an erotic novel that a house-wife could read to her husband. De Sade did not ignore de La Bretonne’s effort. While locked up at Chateau de Vincenne he communicated his displeasure to his wife, “…and for God’s sake don’t send me any books of that Restif….” We could say that the apogee of Restif de La Bretonne’s project was the publication of The Anti-Justine. He was in the process of printing the fourth copy of the book, when an unexpected news arrived: Restif de La Bretonne was promoted to the position of the chief of police in his department. The printing had to stop. Restif became more careful, a lot more careful.

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