“Imperious, choleric, irascible, extreme in everything, with a dissolute imagination the like of which has never been seen, atheistic to the point of fanaticism, there you have me in a nutshell, and kill me again or take me as I am, for I shall not change.” —From Sade’s Last Will and Testament

“The supreme value of his testimony lies in its ability to disturb us. It forces us to reexamine thoroughly the basic problem which haunts our age in different forms: the true relation between man and man.” —Simone de Beauvoir

“The Marquis de Sade did not invent sadism, which has always existed, but he discovered it, like a doctor discovers a virus. . . . Sade made us discover that sexual instinct is anarchic and uncontrollable. After Sade, we no longer of sex as something light, playful and superficial.” —Mark Lever, The New York Times Book Review

“Sade was one of the most radical minds of Western history, one that touched, with an astonishing fusion of madness and cold rationality, on some of the most central aspects of psychic life. . . . He remains a great, horrifying, but also vastly illuminating figure.” —Newsweek

“Sade speaks loudest to our own time, and through our own time, for it is our age that has had to live the truths he revealed, to live through the night he uncovered.” —Lester G. Crocker