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The East, the West, and Sex: A History of Erotic Encounters
 
 
Author
Richard Bernstein.
Publisher Knopf  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
ISBN 9780375414091
Pages/Publication Date 325/2009
Daedalus Item Code 13680
List Price: $27.95
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Description
In this rich and seductive narrative of the powerful erotic pull the East has always had for the West—a pervasive yet often ignored aspect of their long historical relationship—Richard Bernstein defines the Orient widely as northern Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific islands, and frames it as a place where sexual pleasure was not commonly associated with sin as it was in the West. He maps this erotic history through a chronology of notable personalities, including Marco Polo, writing on the harem of Kublai Khan; Gustave Flaubert, describing his dalliances with Egyptian prostitutes (and the diseases he picked up along the way); and Richard Francis Burton, adventurer, lothario, anthropologist, and translator of The Arabian Nights. Throughout, Bernstein explores the lives of those women who suffered for or profited from the fantasies of Western men.

"Bernstein is very good at telling these stories.... [He] is brave to insist, in the face of much postmodern academic writing about colonialism, that for various reasons having nothing to do with the West, women ... were far more readily available in the Middle and Far East than in Europe."—SFChronicle

 
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