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Kamasutra (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Mallanaga Vatsyayana , Wendy Doniger , Sudhir Kakar
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 6.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

26 Mar 2009 Oxford World's Classics
'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 SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Kamasutra (Oxford World's Classics) + The Hindus: An Alternative History
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; Reissue edition (26 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199539162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199539161
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'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

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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
WE bow to religion, power, and pleasure, because they are the subject of this text, and to the scholars who made known the mutual agreement among the three, because those subjects are 1 Those who talk about pleasure say that pleasure is the most important of the three aims of human life, because it is both the cause and the result of the other two, religion and power. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Relevant 12 May 2004
Firstly the book is very nicely presented, with full colour illustrations from the original Karma Sutra. Once one starts reading the book it becomes clear that despite being almost 800 years old the relationships that the book describes are the same today. If you are looking for a sex guide then this version of the Karma Sutra isn't for you, however if you're looking to read a classic of World Literature AND learn something, including sexual techniques then this is a good choice. The one obvious drawback is that at times the language is difficult, but this reflects a true translation of a 13th century text. A worthwhile and fascinating text!
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I've browsed through a previous version of the Kamasutra and thought of it as a "sex" book.
Now I just had the chance to read this new version which a friend of mine passed me (in my country it will be published soon). I've been quite impressed: it seems more a handbook of life than a book just about sex. After all, who thinks that something about sex is still to be said in the age of image and hedonism and ... well ... pornography?
This book will still say something to the western world, something about living and having fun and enjoying life. It teaches how to conduct a balanced life, how to find (and recognise) a good partner and, of course, how to have a satisfactory sexual life; and all this comes centuries before Freud!
Expecially women will find something that in previous translations might have been hidden. Puritanism of the victorian age influenced previous translation in such a way that the book was intended for men. Now the original spirit of some 17 century old indian text returns: women that pretend men to do what women want, women that can get rid of men as they wish, women that are able to send husband back to his mummy.
Yet, it is still a mystery if this new version will help men to understand the everlasting mysterious feminine planet.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong choice 23 July 2007
I bought this edition (the Miniature edition) believing that I was getting a smaller version of the original Oxford edition, perhaps with fewer illustrations. Since I was interested in the text that was okay with me, but I was so disappointed. Apart from the very few illustrations (which I can tolerate) the text size is so large that you feel like browsing through the book rather than actually reading it. Furthermore, several parts of the text are left out, without this being shown in the "browse" view offered the to customers (the browse displays the original and unabridged version according to the table of contents!). Therefore, I really felt like a fool once I received the pocket version. It seems useful only as a gift idea or curiosity. Next time I'll buy the full version, no matter the price and size and shall not pay attention to the deceiving browsing options offered (Publisher, shame on you!).
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good pocket size book 30 May 2013
By mamadou
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
if you are looking for a pocket size book. this is the ideal. i haven't red it yet but i am sure i learn form whatever is in it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 15 Mar 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Arrived on time, bit small but we knew it would be - for my daughter's theology degree!!! I do not have three more words!
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