OPINION

January 15, 1956

L’AFFAIRE SADE: Paris, 12 – A Parisian court, hearing the case against Parisian publisher Jean Jacques Pauvert, who had published a limited edition of the complete works of the Marquis de Sade, has finally reached a verdict. The publisher was fined 200,000 francs. His attorney at the trial, which has caused an uproar among intellectuals, was the famous Maurice Garcon who has repeatedly been elected head of the French Bar Association. In one truly monumental speech, Garcon had claimed that the works of the Marquis de Sade, who gave his name to the word «sadism,» should be judged according to the philosophical content of his work and considering the huge influence he had on some of the best thinkers, philosophers, poets and writers of the 19th century. Nevertheless, the court did not accept Garcon’s argument that de Sade’s works could not be harmful to an educated person, but observed that the publisher had repeatedly advertised in the daily press, therefore targeting the general public. Pauvert was also found to have been aware of the pornographic content of the material, since he had published only a limited edition.