Ascetic of Desire: A Novel (Based on the Life of Vatsyayana and His Kamasutra)

3.52 avg rating
( 123 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780140272499: Ascetic of Desire: A Novel (Based on the Life of Vatsyayana and His Kamasutra)

The Kama Sutra is the most widely read treatise on sex ever written, though the man who chronicled all there was to experience between men and women remains, for the most part, a mystery. In The Ascetic of Desire, called "a literary achievement of the highest order," by The Times (India), acclaimed author Sudhir Kakar tells the story of the man who is believed to be the author of the Kama Sutra, Vatsyayana, and the time in which he lived-the fourth century A.D., considered the golden age of Indian history.

In The Ascetic of Desire, the elusive sage Vatsyayana recounts his youth to a young pupil. The young man, planning to write Vatsyayana's biography, listens dutifully as Vatsyayana shares stories of a childhood spent largely in the brothel where his favorite aunt worked. As Vatsyayana's story unfolds, the pupil finds, to his consternation, that his own life has begun to reflect and parallel the ascetic's narrative. At the point where their stories intersect, the unexpected happens.

Like Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha, Sudhir Kakar's novel is a startling combination of psychological insight and historical detail. With rights sold in eleven countries, this is a story of universal appeal imbued with a distant world's charm and exotic allure.

"The best novel on sex and sensuality I have ever read." (Khushwant Singh, author of Train to Pakistan)

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

An internationally renowned psychoanalyst and writer, Sudhir Kakar has been a visiting professor at the universities of Chicago, Harvard, McGill, Melbourne, Hawaii and Vienna and a Fellow at the Institutes of Advanced Study, Princeton and Berlin. Currently, he is Adjunct Professor of Leadership at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. His many honors include the Bhabha, Nehru and National Fellowships in India, the Kardiner Award of Columbia University, the Boyer Prize of the American Anthropological Association, and Germany's Goethe Medal. The leading French magazine Le Nouvel Observatory listed him as one of twenty-five major thinkers of the world. He lives in Goa.

From Publishers Weekly:

This lushly sensual and thoughtful debut novel by New Delhi psychoanalyst Kakar was inspired by the mysterious Vatsayana who wrote the Kama Sutra sex manual between the first and sixth centuries of the present era. Vatsayana's story, his interpretations of the ancient rules and more iconoclastic views of eroticism, are dispersed to a young fictional student, a Brahman scholar. The student, pursuing the traditional studies of dharma (Holy Writ) and atha (prosperity), comes under the influence of Vatsayana when he begins to dabble in the study of kama (sensual enjoyment), to the dismay of his conservative teachers and parents. Vatsayana's lectures at the Seven Leaf hermitage include the essence of the Kama Sutra and Hindu mythology that guide the student's mind into the wondrous realm of sensual learning, connecting sexuality to food, money, love, spirituality and transcendence. Much of Vatsayana's life and ideas are formed by his aunt Chandrika, a renowned courtesan whose sensual explorations end when she is rejected by a young architect. This humiliation propels her to renounce her erotic life and become a Buddhist nun. It is Chandrika who ultimately puts the erotic theories, myths and speculations into perspective by balancing sex with the tranquillity that comes when desire is finally transcended. Chandrika's transformation, and Vatsayana's eventual betrayal by his wife and his student, provide touching, psychologically complex insights into the notions of both "ascetic" and "desire." Throughout the book, Kakar offers a tantalizing view of how sex is constructed, dreamed, subdued and performed in culturally specific contexts and through history, rich folklore and marvelous parables. It's an impassioned and unusual tale dense with scintillating details and sexual philosophy. (Feb.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Sudhir Kakar
Published by Penguin Books India (2000)
ISBN 10: 0140272496 ISBN 13: 9780140272499
New Softcover Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
BookVistas
(New Delhi, DELHI, India)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books India, 2000. Softcover. Book Condition: New. Printed Pages: 304. Bookseller Inventory # 22059

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
5.83
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.56
From India to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Kakar, Sudhir
Published by Penguin
ISBN 10: 0140272496 ISBN 13: 9780140272499
New Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
Sunshine Book Store
(Wilmington, DE, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin. Book Condition: New. 0140272496 Brand New, Choose Expedited shipping for GUARANTEED delivery within 4-5 business days. Standard Delivery within 6-14 business days. We may not ship to PO Box, APO , FPO Address, please contact us. Customer satisfaction guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory # HO_9780140272499

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.46
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Sudhir Kakar
ISBN 10: 0140272496 ISBN 13: 9780140272499
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
US_Superfast_Bookstore
(New Castle, DE, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: NEW. Brand New, Exactly same as listed. Delivery within 4-8 business days ACROSS THE GLOBE. We can ship to PO Box address in US. We may ship the books from multiple warehouses across the globe including Asia depending upon the availability of inventory. Customer satisfaction guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory # VPO_9780140272499

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.89
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.27
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Sudhir Kakar
ISBN 10: 0140272496 ISBN 13: 9780140272499
New Paperback Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
Bookstore99
(Wilmington, DE, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: NEW. Brand New, Same ISBN and details as listed. Delivery within 3-7 business days. We may ship the books from multiple location across the globe including Asia depending upon the availability of inventory. Printed in English. Choose expedited shipping for Express delivery. Tracking number provided for every order. Bookseller Inventory # RO_9780140272499

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.97
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.27
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Sudhir Kakar
Published by Penguin Books India (2000)
ISBN 10: 0140272496 ISBN 13: 9780140272499
New Softcover Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
A - Z Books
(New Delhi, DELHI, India)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books India, 2000. Softcover. Book Condition: New. Printed Pages: 304. Bookseller Inventory # 22059

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
5.83
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 4.46
From India to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Kakar, Sudhir
Published by Penguin
ISBN 10: 0140272496 ISBN 13: 9780140272499
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 12
Seller:
Mediaoutlet12345
(Springfield, VA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0140272496 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Bookseller Inventory # SWATI2122637404

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.33
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.03
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Kakar, Sudhir
Published by Penguin 1999-09-03 (1999)
ISBN 10: 0140272496 ISBN 13: 9780140272499
New Paperback First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
M and N Media
(Acworth, GA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin 1999-09-03, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. First Edition. 0140272496 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # TM-0140272496

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
14.02
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.03
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Sudhir Kakar
Published by Penguin (1999)
ISBN 10: 0140272496 ISBN 13: 9780140272499
New Paperback First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0140272496

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
20.80
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Sudhir Kakar
Published by Penguin (1999)
ISBN 10: 0140272496 ISBN 13: 9780140272499
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110140272496

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
25.11
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 1.51
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Sudhir Kakr
Published by Penguin Books (1999)
ISBN 10: 0140272496 ISBN 13: 9780140272499
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. first edition edition. 304 pages. 7.64x5.12x0.79 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 0140272496

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
25.61
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 6
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book