Fifty Shades of de Sade

Recapitulation of the masochistic and sadistic themes developed by the Marquis de Sade has paid off big time for Erika Mitchell, author of Fifty Shades of Grey. There’s nothing particularly new in her book, which reviewers almost universally describe as being written in turgid, lackluster prose. What is new is that the internet and film have mainstreamed sadomasochism, presenting torture as titillating and even romantic -- hence the release of the film version on Valentine’s Day.  Mitchell’s book is pretty much a stale imitation of the Marquis de Sade’s novel Justine. The two books essentially follow a similar plot. A dominant male who is rich as Croesus has a dungeon-like playroom in which he carries out an unending round of sodomy, rape and other exotic tortures on an innocent young woman. Evil triumphs over Virtue, and Virtue grows to love Evil, all the while hoping Evil’s hard, stony heart will eventually be softened by her perfect...(Read Full Article)