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By Wendy Doniger

The Kamasutra, composed within the 3rd century CE, is the world's most renowned textbook of erotic love. there's not anything remotely love it even this present day, and for its time it was once astonishingly refined. but it's all yet neglected as a significant paintings in its state of origin-sometimes taken as an issue of nationwide disgrace instead of delight - and within the remainder of the realm it's a resource of amused amazement and conjures up journal articles that supply "mattress-quaking intercourse kinds" corresponding to "the backstairs boogie" and "the spider web".

In this scholarly and fantastically readable booklet, one of many world's most effective experts on historic Indian texts seeks to revive the Kamasutra to its right position within the Sanskrit canon, as a landmark of India's secular literature. She finds interesting elements of the Kamasutra as a consultant to the artwork of residing for the cosmopolitan beau monde of old India: its emphasis on grooming and etiquette (including post-coital conversation), the examine and perform of the humanities (ranging from cooking and composing poetry to coloring one's enamel and combining perfumes), and restraint and endurance in engaging in affairs (especially adulterous affairs). In its encyclopedic social and mental narratives, it additionally screens strangely sleek principles approximately gender and role-playing, woman sexuality, and gay desire.

Even as she attracts our recognition to the various ways that the Kamasutra demanding situations the conventions of its time (and usually ours) - in pushing aside procreation because the objective of intercourse, for example - Doniger additionally indicates us the way it perpetuates attitudes that experience persisted to darken human sexuality: passages that dual ardour with violence, for instance, and those who clarify away women's protests and exclamations of ache as ploys to excite their male companions. In those attitudes, as in its extra enlightened observations on sexual love, we see the approximately - thousand-year-old Kamasutra replicate twenty-first-century realities.

In investigating and supporting us comprehend a far celebrated yet under-appreciated textual content, Wendy Doniger has produced a wealthy and compelling textual content of her personal that might curiosity, satisfaction, and shock students and lay readers alike.

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