John Galbraith Simmons
JOCELYNE GENEVIÈVE BARQUE and JOHN GALBRAITH SIMMONS are currently completing their translation of Aline and Valcour. Their translation-in-progress was recipient of a 2010 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts. Previous brief extracts from the novel appeared in the Brooklyn Rail (February 2009 and September 2013).
No better time than the present, considering the parlous state of the world, to create an exhibit as audacious and ambitious as Sade: Attacking the Sun. With a focus not on the man and the scandals but on his range of influence and continuing pertinence, it mounts a considerable array of visual works that includes many from iconic figures not usually associated with the customary Sadean triad of sexual excess, violence, and perversion.
No surprise that Sade would defend what came to be known as homosexuality but his reasoned defense of it is unusual for its rejection of nurture or upbringing as its cause in favor of what would within a couple of centuries be largely acknowledged as owing to inborn biological or constitutional features. From the character known as Sarmiento, a thoroughly unpleasant Portuguese adventurer who has gone native in Africa, a hundred years before Conrads Heart of Darkness.