January 22, 2013
I have a fist-sized chunk of the Marquis de Sade’s castle—a square corner of hand-hewn limestone—that I picked up some years ago in the tiny medieval village of Lacoste, France. I could show it to you, but you have to let me tie you up and smash your hand with it first. Just kidding!
The notorious works of the Marquis, who spent all but the end of his life in the Grand Supercycle bear market that began in 1720, grip the popular imagination strongest in bear markets, it seems. The NYT reported Monday that France is prepared to pay more than $5 million for de Sade’s manuscript, “The 120 Days of Sodom,” a gruesome tale of four rich men who lock themselves in a castle with 46 victims, including children, and subject them to “orgies and acts of abuse … pedophilia, necrophilia, incest, torture, rape, murder, infanticide, bestiality… .” The Times quote rambles on, but you get the picture. Sade said it was “the most impure tale that has ever been told since our world began.” Yet the director of France’s National Library wants the manuscript declared a “national treasure.” What’s more, there is a movie about the tale—which is on YouTube, in case you’re in the mood—that was made in 1975 and came out in 1976, in the middle of a 16-year bear market. Click here to read more about social mood and the timing of dark entertainment.
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