Philosophy in the Boudoir

“…no matter how far you have come, one more effort will always be required.”

                                                                         –Alenka Zupančič

A new translation of the Marquis de Sade’s novel in the form of a play, this version goes farther yet with the incorporation of new material into Sade’s context: the fifth dialogue pamphlet, “One More Time Frenchmen If You Want To Be Republicans”, has been replaced with an original text which takes as its starting point the contemporary debate surrounding so-called ‘pornography’. This text attempts to situate that debate historically, from the invention of ‘pornography’ at the beginning of our modern era as a politicizing force (as a form of political satire), to its contemporary, politicized interpretations. It attempts to use the ‘pornography’ debate to explore the relations between sexuality and representation, as well as to inform our views of the sexed human subject and the possibilities of any human subjectivities in the future. Using four voices (represented by different sized type faces) which echo Lacan’s four discourses (that of the hysteric, the analyst, the university, and the master), and utilizing as many as fifty different speakers in a series of interwoven rhetorical gestures – plural, fragmented, and pulverizing – the form itself of this text seeks to be an antidote to the rigidly fixated and ossified identities (as illusory consistencies) that so dominate our cultural horizon. Seeking to instill a proper realization and sense of self-difference, precisely what is so glaringly absent from the identificatory thinking which posits human subjectivity as a unity reduced to consciousness, it utilizes an uncompromising materialist perspective on language and the signifier, standing against all thinking that would reduce the signifier to resemblance: you are not what you believe yourself to resemble, and conversely, your desires in no way resemble what you take to be ‘you’. A full-frontal assault on the reductionistic literalism of certain interpretations of ‘pornography’, this version of Sade’s novel is a purposeful effrontery, a provocative text which neither seeks to encourage nor to even assuage what you take to be your sexuality, but to throw it into doubt, One More Time…