From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- 'Sadism is not a name finally given to a practice as old as Eros; it is a massive cultural fact which appeared precisely at the end of the eighteenth century, and which constitutes one of the greatest conversions of Western imagination: unreason transformed into delirium of the heart, madness of desire, the insane dialogue of love and death in the limitless presumption of appetite." --Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization
- "Sadism demands a story, depends on making something happen, forcing a change in another person, a battle of will and strength, victory/defeat." (Laura Mulvey, 1975, 29).
- "Mes fantasmes sado-érotiques, je n'en ai nullement honte, je les mets en scène: la vie fantasmatique est ce que l'être humain doit revendiquer le plus hautement". --Alain Robbe-Grillet
- There is a suggestion by Mario Praz in The Romantic Agony that what Blake, De Sade, Nietzsche, Swinburne, Dostoyevsky, Gide, essentially have in common is that they were all sadists, sadism being at best a mere psychological quirk of certain personalities. But then it could well be that the kind of temperament here labelled 'sadistic' is the best equipped for the kind of insight that is at issue. --Introduction to Nietzsche, John S. Moore, 1974
Sadism is the achievement of pleasure, either sexual or not, by inflicting pain or suffering on others. Best defined as cruelty in the non-sexual sense. The article sadism and masochism explains sadism in a sexual context. For psychiatric views, see sadistic personality disorder and sadism and masochism as medical terms.
Named after the Marquis de Sade, famed for his libertine writings depicting the pleasure of inflicting pain to others. The word for "sadism" (sadisme) is forged or acknowledged in the 1834 posthumous reprint of French lexicographer Boiste's Dictionnaire universel de la langue française; it is reused along with "sadist" (sadique) in 1862 by French critic Sainte-Beuve in his commentary of Flaubert's novel Salammbô; it is reused (possibly independently) in 1886 by Austrian psychiatrist Krafft-Ebing in Psychopathia Sexualis which popularized it; it is directly reused in 1905 by Freud in Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality which definitely established the word.
- (mainly psychiatric) the enjoyment of inflicting pain
- achievement of sexual gratification by inflicting pain on others
- gaining sexual excitement and satisfaction by watching pain inflicted by others on their victims
- a morbid form of enjoyment achieved by acting cruel to another, or others.
- (In general use) deliberate cruelty either mental or physical also applicable to the cruelty inflicted upon animals whether for sexual gratification or not.
- Sadism and masochism as medical terms, sadism and masochism as paraphilia
- Sadistic personality disorder, nonsexual sadism
- Sadism in the Movies
- See also
- Marquis de Sade, an 18th-century French writer from which the term sadism is coined
- Schadenfreude, a German word for pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others