Arnon Grunberg


My child

Today, I asked my students at Wageningen University to read an extract from De Sade’s “The 120 days of Sodom”: ‘He fetched up a chair and seated himself by the bed, then returned to caressing my bum, the mere sight of which appeared to intoxicate him; he spread my buttocks for a moment and I felt his tongue sound deep into my entrails, this, said he, in order beyond any shadow of equivocation to verify whether indeed the hen were inclined to lay; I report his own expressions to you. All this while, I was not touching him, not at that stage, he was himself lightly stroking the dry little member I had just brought from its lair.
"Are you ready, my child?" he asked. "For it is high time we undertake our task; your shit seems to me as it should be, I've established that, remember to shit gradually, a little at a time, and always wait until I have consumed one morsel before pushing out the next. My operation takes quite a while, so don't be in haste. A light slap on your ass will notify you that I'm ready for more, but see to it that I get no more than a bite."
Having then adopted the most comfortable position, he glued his mouth to the object of his worship, and in less time than it takes to tell I delivered a gobbet of shit the size of a pigeon's egg. He sucked it, turned it a thousand times about in his mouth, chewed it, savored it, at the end of three or four minutes I distinctly saw him swallow it; I push again, the same ceremony is repeated, and as I had a prodigious charge to be rid of, ten times over he filled his mouth and emptied it, and even after all was done he seemed famished still.
"That is all, Monsieur," I said when I had finished, "I'm pushing in vain now."’

Most if not all of my students were shocked and appalled at De Sade.

There are reasons enough to be appalled at De Sade’s work, but eating other people’s excrements appears to me an innocent and noble pastime.

Aren’t we suffering from a manure surplus?