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The book's format had promise: fragments of Sappho's poetry, interleaved with photos of women in love with each other. The editor picked and chose among dozens of translations, presumably to pick the phrasing of each passage that best agreed with the desired mood. Well, this isn't a scholarly text and attribution is given when possible, so that sounds fair enough.

The photos set a warm and romantic mood. Settings include beaches and a faux Japanese scene, but most take place indoors, on lush carpets, in front of a lit fire place, or in a frilly bedroom. The models tend toward a type: most have fair coloring, but all of them seem twenty-ish, slim, and prettied up in hair, nails, and makeup. Clothing, if present, creates a romantic and very feminine look (there's lots of pink). Every scene include a couple or threesome, close and affectionate, but physical expression never goes past hugs and kisses.

Each series of pictures creates a sweet, romantic fantasy. I don't see much under the sweetness, though - real adult loving would probably smudge the makeup, muss the hair, or stain the rug. On the whole, this seems to present a fiction that a male photographer thinks male viewers want to see in lesbian couples, but without actual coupling.

-- wiredweird
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