D.A.F. de Sade with contributions by Paul Chan, Claire Fontaine, Gareth James, Sam Lewitt, Pratchaya Phinthong, Pamela Rosenkranz, John Russell, and Antek Walczak.
Translation by Robin Mackay
Edited by Erik Wysocan
Weep no more, citizens; they breathe, these celebrated men for whom we cry; our patriotism reanimates them…
Presented in honor of Marat and Le Pelletier, “Citizen Sade” wrote this memorial address at the height of violence during the French Revolution, just after the start of the Reign of Terror. The text, effusive and cloyingly patriotic, brings to question Sade’s own political position – a provocative impulse all the more remarkable given the addresses audience: the gathered Section des Piques, amongst the most hardline Jacobin districts of Paris. Though frequently cited and made infamous as the inspiration for Peter Weiss’ influential work of avant-garde theater Marat/Sade, the text itself has remained obscure outside of France.
Presented in English for the first time, this new translation by Robin Mackay serves as the historical foundation for a collection of artists’ writings. Included are Paul Chan, Claire Fontaine, Gareth James, Sam Lewitt, Pratchaya Phinthong, Pamela Rosenkranz, John Russell, and Antek Walczak.
- Société Populaire
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Memoirs of the Twentieth Century
Samuel Madden, Liam Gillick
Samuel Madden, presented with Liam Gillick’s “Prevision. Should the Future Help the Past?”
Written in 1733, Memoirs of the Twentieth Century is widely regarded to contain the earliest known conception of time-travel and, in particular, the first cognitive leap that would allow for a historicized image of the present as seen from the point of view of a distant future. Intriguingly, it is the text itself which is claimed to have traveled back in time and Madden has used this conceit to satirize his own period – tracing out its bureaucratic absurdities into a strange yet pointed vision of the late 20th century: a world politically fraught, overwhelmed with corruption and struggling to reconcile religious faith with scientific discovery.
The mysterious publishing history of the book imparts a certain weight to its claims. Printed anonymously in an edition of 1000, all but 10 copies were immediately destroyed for unknown reasons. It would only be printed once more in 1972 and until now Memoirs… has been extremely scarce – resulting in disappointingly little scholarship. This new edition includes Liam Gillick’s Prevision. Should the Future Help the Past first published in 1999, the very year when Memoirs… leaves off. Gillick explores the socio-political implications inherent in strategic attitudes towards the future with a critical eye to the ‘scenario planning’ of late capitalism. It provides a prescient framework for reconsidering Madden’s text now, just over ten years on since its fictive origination and apocalyptic conclusion.
To encourage further study, the complete text will be freely distributed electronically in conjunction with the limited edition hard-cover and a mass-market paperback.
- Memoirs of the Twentieth Century
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