The Kamasutra in the Twentieth Century

  • Ruth Vanita


Until Alain Danielou’s 1995 translation, published in the United States, Sir Richard Burton’s 1883 version was the only widely known English version of the Kamasutra.1 Burton’s version is not only inadequate (it omits many sections, misreads others, and condenses most parts) but also skewed by his tendency to exoticize Asian sexuality as more “primitive” than European sexuality.2


Homosexual Activity Sexual Freedom India Today Conjugal Love Asian Sexuality 
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  1. 6.
    Madhavacharya does not exaggerate here. For an account of such policing in nineteenth-century campaigns in England against schoolboy masturbation, see Edward J. Bristow, Vice and Vigilance: Purity Movements in Britain since 1700 (Totowa, NJ: Rowman & Littlefield, 1977).Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    Narendra Nath Bhattacharyya, History of Indian Erotic Literature (New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1975), 28.Google Scholar

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© Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai 2000

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  • Ruth Vanita

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