Sin and Sainthood on Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day, the KtBniks have unearthed a gem (or, for the sake of terminological consistency, a bone, a shroud, a hair…) from the dusty shelves of the KtB reliquary.  Check out “The Marquis de Sade and St. Valentine,” your one-stop source for Valentine’s Day sin and sanctity.

Forgot to buy your loved one a gift?  Just tell him or her that you wanted to honor the holiday’s pre-Christian origins—on the 15th.  Probably best not to bring up de Sade, unless that sort of thing floats your consensual, 18+ boat.

If neither romance nor its kinky doppelganger suits your mood today, perhaps some robustly modern cynicism will.  To round out our Valentine’s Day trinity, I would like to nominate Charles Baudelaire—proto Buddha-killer and pre-Hallmark despiser of Cupid.  That chubby-cheeked little archer of love is, according to the poet:

the president of this flirtatious and simpering republic.  He is a fish to be served up in any kind of sauce.  And yet, are we not heartily sick of seeing colour and marble liberally used for this dirty old man, winged like an insect or a duck, whom Thomas Hood shows us squatting on a cloud cushion, and, like a cripple, squashing it beneath his flabby obesity?  In his left hand, he holds his bow leaning against his hams like a sword; with his right, holding his arrow, he obeys the command ‘slope arms.’  His hair is a crop of short curls, like a coachman’s wig; his bulbous cheeks compress his nostrils and his eyes; his flesh, or rather his meat, well-lined, tubular, and inflated, recalling the lumps of lard hung on a butcher’s meat-hook, is doubtless distended by the sighs of the universal idyll; to his capacious back are appended a pair of butterfly’s wings.

Poor Baudelaire probably just needed some chocolate to sweeten his bitter heart.