The Marquis de Sade’s Executive MBA


For The Baffler, Kurt Newman analyzes Tom DeMarco’s 1997 novel, The Deadline: A Novel of Project Management, comparing the work to that of the Marquis de Sade and explaining why a seemingly irrelevant book highlights “our economic order’s sadomasochistic core.” The Deadline differs from other sadomasochistic fiction (American Psycho, Fight Club, and 24) in that it is distinguishable for “its illumination of the role of sadist and masochistic fantasies—not in the psychopathologies of day traders, not in the hollow rituals of postmodern consumption and therapy, and not in the torture chambers of late-capitalist militarism—but in the world of industrial relations.”

Alex Norcia is a writer living in Brooklyn. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in VICE, The Millions, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Electric Literature, Word Riot, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among others. He is an editor-at-large at The Offing. More from this author →