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The Bedtrick: Tales of Sex and Masquerade (Worlds of Desire: The Chicago Series on Sexuality, Gender, and Culture) 1St Edition Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226156439
ISBN-10: 0226156435
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Editorial Reviews


"Doniger seduces the reader with her casual erudition, tempering the dizzying accumulation of evidence with wry asides." - Edward Rothstein, New York Times "A triumph.... The numerous glittering parts of The Bedtrick are ultimately held together by the unanswerable, endlessly fascinating questions to which it keeps returning." - Katharine Eisaman Maus, Times Literary Supplement"

From the Publisher

In a tour that runs from Shakespeare to Hollywood and from Abraham Lincoln to Casanova, the erudite and irrepressible Wendy Doniger shows us the variety, danger, and allure of the "bedtrick," or what it means to wake up with a stranger. The Bedtrick brings together hundreds of stories from all over the world, from the earliest recorded Hindu and Hebrew texts to the latest item in the Weekly World News, to show the hilariously convoluted sexual scrapes that people manage to get themselves into and out of. At the bottom of these wonderful stories, ancient myths, and historical anecdotes lie the dynamics of sex and gender, power and identity. Why can't people tell the difference in the dark? Can love always tell the difference between one lover and another? And what kind of truth does sex tell anyway? Funny, sexy, and engaging, The Bedtrick is a masterful work of energetic storytelling and dazzling scholarship. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Worlds of Desire: The Chicago Series on Sexuality, Gender, and Culture
  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1St Edition edition (December 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226156435
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226156439
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,566,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wendy Doniger comes through again. This book is a delightful compilation of myths and tales involving the device knows as a bed trick, where one believes he or she is sleeping with someone other than the real person beside them. Shakespeare makes brilliant use of this device in All's Well that Ends Well and Measure for Measure. I was intrigued to read how far back in time the stories go, and in what a variety of cultures.

Volume 3 of my Shakespeare Actor Trilogy was entitled Bedtrick before I encountered Doniger's book. I have a different slant on that plot device than any of her tales, but then, mine is a novel, due out in the Fall of 2015. Each book of Wendy Doniger's expands her range, and The Bedtrick is an impressive addition to her works.
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Format: Hardcover
“lts (Ganesa’s) trunk ls the dlsplaced phallus, a carlcature 0f Slva’s llnga. lt p0ses no threat because lt ls t00 large, flaccld, and ln the wr0ng place t0 be useful f0r s3xual purp0ses.” (Page 121)

“He [Ganesa] remalns cellbate s0 as n0t t0 c0mpete er0tlcally wlth hls father, an0t0rl0us w0manlzer, elther lncestu0usly f0r hls m0ther 0r f0r any 0ther w0man f0r that matter.” (Page 110)

“S0 Ganesa takes 0n the attrlbutes 0f hls father but ln an lnverted f0rm, wlth an exaggerated llmp phallus-ascetlc and benlgn- whereas Slva ls a “hard” (ur-dhvallnga), er0tlc and destructlve.” (Page121)

“B0th ln hls behavl0r and lc0n0graphlc f0rm Ganesa resembles ln s0me aspects, the flgure 0f the eunuch...Ganesha ls llke eunuch guardlng the w0men 0f the harem.” (Page 111)

“Alth0ugh there seems t0 be n0 myths 0r f0lktales ln whlch Ganesa expllcltly perf0rms 0ral s3x; hls lnsatlable appetlte f0r sweets may be lnterpreted as an eff0rt t0 satlsfy a hunger that seems lnappr0prlate ln an 0therwlse ascetlc dlsp0sltl0n, a hunger havlng clear er0tlc 0vert0nes.” (Page 111)

“Ganesa’s br0ken tusk, hls guardlan’s staff, and dlsplaced head can be lnterpreted as symb0ls 0f castratl0n” (page 111)

“Feedlng Ganesa c0pl0us quantltles 0f m0dakas, satlsfylng hls 0ral/er0tlc deslres, als0 keeps hlm fr0m bec0mlng genltally er0tlc llke hls father.” (Page 113)

“The perpetual s0n deslrlng t0 remaln cl0se t0 hls m0ther and havlng an lnsatlable appetlte f0r sweets ev0kes ass0clatl0ns 0f 0ral er0tlclsm. Denled the p0sslblllty 0f reachlng the stage 0f full genltal mascullne p0wer by the 0mnlp0tent f0rce 0f the father, the s0n seeks gratlflcatl0n ln s0me acceptable way.
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