Lawrence Hamilton has selected spicy excerpts from an anonymous English translation of Denis Diderot‘s satiric libertine novel, Les Bijoux Indiscrets (The Indiscreet Toys, 1749). Our edition, titled From Their Lips to His Ear, is # 6 in the Pocket Erotica series— little, 4 x 6-inch editions, lovingly designed for collectors, yet priced inexpensively.
Denis Diderot was a highly celebrated 18th century French philosopher & editor of the groundbreaking Encyclopédie. In 1748, in need of money, he wrote a scandalous and amusing libertine allegory whose hero, a sultan, is in possession of a magic ring. When aimed at female genitals, the ring prompts these private parts to speak — revealing a woman’s deepest sexual desires, experiences, and indiscretions. In this precursor to The Vagina Monologues, the women are portrayed as powerful beings through their liberated ideas and sexuality.
“…filled with the strings of sexual metaphors (both explicit and concealing) … a linguistic tour de force, a rhetorical experiment in verbalizing the obscene, and a representational puzzle, signaled by that deliberate act of veiling and unveiling.”
FROM THEIR LIPS TO HIS EAR
Pocket Erotica No. 6
71 pp., perfect-bound; $10
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“…what makes an artist great is having the courage to provoke and challenge.” —The New York Times
Illustrations by Jean Dulac
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