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Foucault and the Kamasutra
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Foucault and the Kamasutra: The Courtesan, the Dandy, and the Birth of Ars Erotica as Theater in India

Sanjay K. Gautam


This book is an historical exploration into the origins of the the Kāmasūtra, a treatise on sexual-erotic pleasure, and the Nātyaśāstra, a treatise on theater, music, dance, and aesthetic pleasure in classical India in engagement with Michel Foucault. It argues that the courtesan together with her two closest male companions, her patron the dandy consort, and her teacher and advisor the dandy guru were at the very origins of these texts universally recognized as two of the mainsprings of culture in classical India. The courtesan, more than her two male associates, embodied in her singular pers ... More

Keywords: classical India, courtesan, dandy, erotics, Foucault, Kāmasūtra, Nātyaśāstra, sexual erotic pleasure, sexuality, theatre

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780226348308
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2017 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226348582.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Sanjay K. Gautam, author
University of Colorado Boulder