304 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.55 in
April 26, 2009
Oxford University Press
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0199539162
ISBN - 13: 9780199539161
Table of Contents
I. The Text
The Text and its Author(s)
The Genre of the Kamasutra
The Science and Magic of Numbers
The Kamasutra as a Play in Seven Acts
The Genders of the Kamasutra
Psychology and Culture in the Kamasutra
II. The Commentaries
Devadatta Shastri's Jaya
III. Translations into European Languages
Burton et al.
The Present Translation
Sexually Explicit Vocabulary
Contemporary Pleasures of the Text
A Note on Presentation
Appendix: Excerpts from Devadatta Shastri's Commentary
Glossary and Index
From the Publisher
'When the wheel of sexual ecstasy is in full motion, there is no textbook at all, and no order.'
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 CE. It combines an encyclopaedic coverage of all imaginable aspects of sex with a closely observed sexual psychology 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.
About the Author
Wendy Doniger has written a prize-winning on sexual deception, The Bedtrick (2000, Univ. of Chicago Press), and translated the Rig Veda and The Laws of Manu for Penguin. Sudhir Kakar is a psychoanalyst whose most recent books are The Ascetic of Desire (1999), a fictionalized account of the
life of Vatsyayana, and the novel Ecstasy (2001). She is Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago.
"This translation will change peoples' understanding of this book and of ancient India. Previous translations are hopelessly outdated, inadequate and misguided."
--David Shulman, Prof. of Indian Studies and Comparative Religion at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, quoted in NY Times 4 May 2002