March 15, 2002
Oxford University Press
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0192802704
ISBN - 13: 9780192802705
From the Publisher
The Kamasutra is the oldest extant Hindu textbook of erotic love. It is about the art of living - about finding a partner, maintaining power in a marriage, committing adultery, living as or with a courtesan, using drugs - and also about the positions in sexual intercourse. It was composed in
Sanskrit, the literary language of ancient India, sometime in the third century of the common era, probably in North India. It combines an encyclopedic coverage of all imaginable aspects of sex with a closely observed sexual pyschology and a dramatic, novelistic narrative of seduction,
consummation, and disentanglement. Best known in English through the highly mannered, padded, and inaccurate nineteenth-century translation of Sir Richard Burton, the text is presented here in an entirely new translation into clear, vivid, sexually frank English, together with three commentaries:
translated excerpts from the earliest and most famous Sanskrit commentary (13th century) and from a twentieth-century Hindi commentary, and explanatory notes by the two translators.
The lively and entertaining introduction by Wendy Doniger discusses the history of the text and its reception in India and Europe, analyses its attitudes toward gender and sexual violence, and sets it in the context of ancient Indian social theory, scientific method, and sexual ethics.
About the Author
Mallanaga Vatsyayana is the name of an Indian philosopher in the Carvaka or Lokyata tradition, who lived some time in the Gupta period (4th to 6th centuries CE ). Wendy Doniger is at University of Chicago. Sudhir Kakar is at Harvard University.
`Review from other book by this author 'a triumph...Any one or two of Doniger's chapters might stand on its own as an ordinary academic monograph. Ten such chapters, by a writer so learned, inventive and theoretically sophisticated, provide an astonishingly rich reading experience.''
TLS, 15/12/00 of The Bedtrick