This post has adult content
But they also had another intent less written about. People wanted souvenirs. One of these stolen souvenirs, was the infamous book, 120 Days of Sodom written by none other than, 18th century bad boy, Marquis de Sade. (The man who gives us the word “sadism”) Arrested for descecrating church property, poisoning some prostitues, sodomy and various other sexual acts to heinous to repeat, Sade had become the Bastille's most famous prisoner. It was during his stay at the Bastille, that he penned his masterpiece on a 5 inch wide scroll in miniscule type and then wedged it in the walls.
When the Bastille fell, 120 Days of Sodom disappeared into the dust.
When Sade realized his crowning literary achievement had become a victim in the melee, he “wept tears of blood.” Unfortunately, it really was his fault that his pet porn project was lost. Ten days before the storming of the Bastille, he was screaming obscenities below his prison window and trying to incite the locals into tearing down the towering edifice. Always a creative man, Sade had employed a ingenious tactic to get his voice heard throughout the surrounding area. He took the tin funnel used to channel his bowl movement into the sewage below and employed it as a megaphone. That Sade could be so cheeky,
Well, the prison guards just couldn’t have their most famous sexual terrorist disturbing the peace so they moved him to the far less posh Charenton asylum where he couldn’t scare the kids.
Somehow, 120 Days of Sodom showed up in Germany in 1904. Then in 1935, some enterprising editor had that eureka moment and said, - hmmmm.....these tiny scraps of pornographic drivel would sure make one heck of a book. Let that be a lesson to aspiring writers with a stack of rejection letters. Sometimes it takes years to get your book into the right hands.
Either way, if it had not been for the storming of the Bastille, 120 Days of Sodom might not have ever been printed.
Happy Bastille Day to my French readers!
p. 351 Schaeffer
Sources and Further Reading
Schaeffer, Neil. The Marquis de Sade : a life Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard Univ. Press, 1999.