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Kama Sutra Revisited, The

Franklin  Feldman

Etchings, aquatints, letterpress, handmade red linen clamshell box with gold stamping.
12 1/8 x 16 3/8 x 1 13/16 in
edition of 15
text by Vatsyayana

There are few books that have survived for more than 1500 years. The Old and New Testaments certainly have met that test and the writings of Shakespeare will undoubtedly also. The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana has already made the list. Written in Sanskrit somewhere between the first and fourth centuries, it is remarkable in a number of ways -- a combination of simple wisdom, a how-to manual, and frank treatment of the relationship between man and woman, with a particular emphasis on sex. Indeed, it has been described as the most famous work on sex ever written. My interest in the book was not purely a literary one, and not simply as a pupil, although there was much to learn. My interest in the visual and the erotic was stimulated. The ideas expressed in the book suggested graphic annotation, and very little pleased me more than to create images which might be both elegant and erotic. These soft-ground etching plates reflect my compatibility and attraction to the erotic. The etchings are not, however, illustrations of the text. Rather, they were stimulated and inspired by their words and thought. Erotic concepts need not be literal.

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