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La Cazzaria: The Book of the Prick Paperback – December 31, 1899


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (March 9, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415940672
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415940672
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,241,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The sexiest and most enjoyable book of the year. -- Dean Kuipers, LA Times
Because it is such unabashed fun, it makes a sharp commentary on current writing about sex. -- Dean Kuipers, LA Times
Controversy--political, sexual, and otherwise--always sells books... . Political intrigue and scandal are also the main topics in La Cazzaria: The Book of the Prick, by Antonio Vignali, edited and translated by Ian Frederick Moulton (Routledge; April). A cross between Machiavelli's The Prince and the most scandalous pornography of its time, this 16th-century erotic dialogue -- translated for the first time -- redefines the possibilities of sexual politics. -- Michael Bronski, Boston Phoenix
Recommended for collections dealing with the history of sexuality or erotica. -- Mary Morgan Smith, Library Journal
His [Mouton's] exemplary introduction is nearly as long as the text itself and twice as worthwhile. It provides the historical perspective and intellectual sobriety missing from what Moulton tactfully describes as 'learned, but childish,' fable that is, even by most liberal modern standards, a complete gross-out-though probably not to anyone who has tuned into Howard Stern. A radically obscene satire on politics and sex
. -- The New Yorkern
His [Mouton's] exemplary introduction is nearly as long as the text itself and twice as worthwhile. It provides the historical perspective and intellectual sobriety missing from what Moulton tactfully describes as 'learned, but childish,' fable that is, even by most liberal modern standards, a complete gross-out-though probably not to anyone who has tuned into Howard Stern. A radically obscene satire on politics and sex
. -- The New Yorker
Moulton's translation and edition of Vignali's La cazzaria constitutes a useful instrument to understand further the strong links among knowledge, power, and sexuality in the early modern period. Moulton's remarkable introduction to Vignali's dialogue places the text in its historical context, thus making this edition a useful instrument for scholars in gender studies, queer studies, and early modern political and intellectual history. -- Monica Calabritto, City University of New York, Hunter College, Renaissance Quarterly
Moulton's translation and edition of Vignali's La cazzaria constitutes a useful intstrument to understand further the strong links among knowledge, power, and sexuality in the early modern period... a useful instrument for scholars in gender studies, queer studies, and early modern political and intellectual history. -- Monica Calabritto, the City University of New York, Hunter College, Renaissance Quarterly

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Italian --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Rob Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
If you ever wondered what 16th century Italians thought of sex, anal sex, and homosexuality, you can get at least partial satisfaction with the publication of _La Cazzaria: The Book of the Prick_ (Routledge), written in 1525 by Antonio Vignali, edited and translated by Ian Frederick Moulton. It is the first time you will be able to find the book in English. Moulton has heard claims that the book was published under the titles _The Love Academy_ and _Dialogue on Diddling_ (the latter credited to "Sir Hotspur Dunderpate"), but he has found no copies, and says that the mere titles indicate the translations were faulty. Here is his explanation of the title, an interesting view of the translator's problems, and although the book is full of earthy language, this is as raw as it will get in this review: "The dialogue's title is deliberately rude and provocative: it comes from the Italian word _cazzo_, a slang term for 'penis.'" He goes on: "The closest English rendering is probably 'cockery' - but that is too close to 'cookery' to be useful in translation."
Moulton's introduction and notes are an enormous help, as _La Cazzaria_ is a peculiar production. As in the fashion of so many academic writings of the time, from Galileo to Aretino, it is in the form of a dialogue. The elder participant, the instructor, and probably the alter ego of the author, is Arsiccio, who takes the youth Sodo under instruction, as Arsiccio has been embarrassed by a public display of Sodo's lack of sexual knowledge. The problem is that Sodo is not going to gain a great deal of factual knowledge from the words here. Vignali presents a mock-scholarly book, whose humorous lessons will remind many of Erasmus's words in praise of folly.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 7, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is certainly not for anyone shy about body issues. It sounds like one of those wine-soaked nights at an all-male dorm, when conversation is driven by raging but unrequited hormones. First, of course, these two scholars start by explaining to each how superior scholars are as lovers compared to all others - a fact so little-known because of the scholars' innate discretion. From there, the dialog between Sodo and Arsiccio quickly descends to improbable stories that explain pubic and perineal hair, speculations on womanly anatomy ranging from uncomfortable to laughable, and a lengthy, final mythical tale of male and female bodies forming themselves from their various visible organs and orifices.

Throughout, Sodo (as his name suggests) extols the virtues of sexual entry from behind. Although naughty, adventurous, or distasteful to today's readers, it was a capital crime in Venice of Vignali's day - as daring as anything could be. Despite that dark historical shadow behind it, this remains a light, entertaining, and utterly tasteless romp.

-- wiredweird
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By Anna P. on May 2, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unfortunately, I lent this to someone who was a prick and never saw him again. This book is a wonderful dialogue about sex and carnal conquest. However, while it is very graphic and honest, it is also a bit heavy on the philosophy of the era and has many direct quotes and references that provide for interesting commentary on the politics of the philosophical sphere at the time. It is great.
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