Crimes of Passion

Originally published in 1800, it contained eleven stories and an essay on the novel. The present book contains three (abridged) tales. In “Florville and Courval” we find not only a reinterpretation and elaboration of the Oedipus myth but an unforgettable illustration of Sade’s artistic creed. He was not simply an eccentric aristocrat with artistic pretensions but a pathological rebel against the Age of Enlightenment, and a prisoner of the Prince of Darkness. Two other tales ae presented here. “Juliette and Raunai” has a historical setting. It is sentimental and melodramatic. In it, virtue does triumph, but not before the lovers have run the gamut of human suffering. “Miss Henriette Stralson” has a contemporary setting and ranks above his historical tales. In it, virtue wins only a pyrrhic victory.