PARIS — The original scroll upon which the Marquis de Sade penned his famed, often-banned tale of sexual extremism is going on public display.
The manuscript was found in the Bastille prison where the marquis wrote “The 120 Days of Sodom” in 1785, and has passed through many hands since. After a theft and a long legal battle, it’s now in the hands of the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts in Paris.
Experts carefully unrolled the 39-foot parchment in display cases at the museum Friday, as it prepares to show the manuscript to mark the 200th anniversary of de Sade’s death.
The marquis, whose name is the root of the words “sadism” and “sadist,” describes orgies, rape and pedophilia in the book, which has been widely translated— and widely censored.