It’s very close to National Novel Writing Month! Eeee! I’ve started my research and planning and now have a better idea of what to do exactly for the project.
I will be writing about some events or incidents in the Marquis de Sade’s life, a sort of series of short stories in a way, with the overall plot focusing on his imprisonment in Vincennes (and possibly his movement to the Bastille and then to Charenton asylum), and his insufferable wait to be freed.
As much as Sade was a terrible man, I cannot help but see his mother-in-law as the true villain. If you think your in laws are bad, you should hear what Madame de Montreuil (Sade’s mother-in-law) was like.
Mme de Montreuil arranges a lettre de cachet (arrest by order of the King, and imprisonment without trial) against Sade for being a very naughty man, but he evades the authorities. She then sends Sade a letter to inform him that his mother is sick. He comes out of hiding to visit her only to find it is a trap — his mother had already died weeks earlier. Sade is then arrested and spends the next 13 years in prison (moving from Vincennes, to the Bastille, to Charenton asylum), until lettres de cachet are abolished during the Revolution.
So, yeah, I wouldn’t like her for a mother-in-law!
I think the next step is to work out how to portray Mme de Montreuil in the novel. She was, of course, very upset that Sade was freed!
I also want to look at Sade’s childhood, education, time in the army, and other things that I am not so familiar with. BUT, I absolutely want to further explore some of my theories (the reasonable and outrageous) which I only briefly touched on in my thesis — and perhaps ideas of Sade as a libertine and libertarian, a pornographer and philosopher. The great thing about writing fiction (or potentially creative nonfiction), is the creative freedom — I can convey my absurd ideas, and feel only slight guilt about anything I think is unethical!
Yes, I would love to stay as true to the facts as possible (his life was far too interesting to necessitate the addition of fiction), but I’m not writing a biography. I want to write my own narrative of his life.
So, I am quite well into my research. I would absolutely love to chat with some of the authors of my textbooks, such as Francine du Plessix Gray, Neil Schaeffer, Timo Airaksinen, and even Michel Onfray — Why not? Though, it would be interesting and awkward, since I’m not a fan of his arguments at all, haha!
The idea of tweeting them to discuss Sade sounds both hilarious and inappropriate.
I would have absolutely loved to chat with R. F. Brissenden too. Honestly, his work Virtue in Distress, was a wonderful inspiration to me during my thesis writing. In fact, it helped me to decide on my argument (regarding the construction of virtue). Sadly, Mr Brissenden passed many years before I even began considering a thesis. Though, a child approaching him about the Marquis de Sade would have been painfully awkward!
So, I have been preparing for NaNoWriMo in research and planning, but I have also been doing other things, such as setting up a “package” for myself to use during November. It’s nothing, really, just something to help motivate me. For instance, a pack of my favourite pens, a new book stand (because those textbooks won’t stay open, damn it!), ink for the printer, new wrist rests for my keyboard and mouse (this is more because I’ve started getting pains — nerve problems, etc), a large whiteboard for plot/story planning, oh, and I got myself a new computer too 😉
My new book stand.
Look how pretty! It’s been a pain in the arse trying to translate quotes and notes to the computer — holding the book open while typing. Blergh!
And, of course, I’m just casually showing off my textbooks in the background 😉
Probably should have taken a photo of my new computer. I suppose that’s something to be more excited about… but the book stand!
Anyway, I think that’s it for this week. I’ll be sure to fill you in with more of my goings-on next week.