05-30-2010, 12:59 PM
Some would claim that you must start with the Marquis De Sade if you want to read the first "modern" erotic writing. I do not dispute that De Sade was the first modern ponrographic writer. But De Sade did not write erotica. His writings are not erotic. Take "Justine," for example--probably De Sade's best-known work and the best writing he did. To De Sade, slitting the inner arm of a woman and watching the blood flow is something that turns him on no end, and he writes about it as if it's the most erotic, glorious and exciting thing any one could ever see. De Sade was a poor writer. His writings are filled with half-baked philosophical ideas interspersed with episodes that De Sade thought were really exciting and erotic and stimulating, but actually, they are almost pathetic. De Sade was a bad writer. If it were not for the fact that the words and the meanings of terms such as sadism, sadistic, sadist were derived from De Sade's name, he would be forgotten and he would not be read. By no stretch of the imagination, can De Sade be said to be an erotic writer. The first modern erotic writer was a contemporary of De Sade, and his name was Bretonne. I will write more about Bretonne and the first modern erotic novel which he wrote in the late eighteenth century in Part 2.