Orientalist Camp

The Case of Allen Edwardes


Orientalist camp: an orientalism that has gone over the top, suffused with a sense of too-muchness that ends up being a parody of itself. It is perhaps the best way to describe a number of books written in the 1960s by the enigmatic and now largely forgotten Allen Edwardes: the extraordinary Erotica Judaica (Edwardes 1967), as well as the once popular The Jewel in the Lotus (Edwardes 1965), The Cradle of Erotica (Edwardes and Masters 1962) and Death Rides a Camel (Edwardes 1963).1 Breathing the prurient air of a sexual liberator, these works uncover an “East” and—especially for my purposes—a Bible and its interpreters teeming with all manner of sexual lusts and peccadilloes. Indeed, the impression one gains from reading these works is that an atemporal “East” scarcely has time for vanilla sex, for with engorged vulvae and clitorises, castrated men (testicular or whole block and tackle), randy priests, prostitutes, gays, pederasts, necrophiliacs, and zoophiliacs, the East simply spends its time rubbing, stroking, exciting, teasing, nibbling, wriggling, sucking, slurping, moaning, leg-lifting, penetrating, or being penetrated by anything with a pulse.


Semantic Cluster Sexual Revolution Sexual Appetite Sexual Liberator Biblical Scholarship 
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© Roland Boer 2012

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