BOOKS FROM THE TOP SHELF II – Erotica Universalis

I’ve interrupted a very important viewing of the latest episode of Girls to start writing this post, because what else would I be doing but blogging and watching TV? Researching for my impending job interview? No. Finding another erotic book to write about for the second installment of Books From the Top Shelf is a priority right now.

Just a few spines down from Araki’s weighty retrospective (see this earlier post), sits Gilles Néret’s Erotica Universalis, another book printed by Taschen, this time chronicling erotic art ‘from Pompeii to Picasso’. 573 pages in length, it’s thorough to say the least. It’s also fascinating, and when I forget the fact that my dad actually made the conscious decision to go to a bookshop and buy it, it’s pretty cool. There are some really exquisite works of art in it too. A lot of the featured artists have taken classical stories, like Jupiter and Europa, and explored their erotic overtones in a way that History lessons taught us to be pretty out of character for those fusty old people of yore. I’m glad to discover that in matters of the flesh, fusty is one thing that they definitely were not.

And who would have known that all this kink was going on in the 1930s? Colour me impressed (if a little disturbed).

Bernard Montorgueil

Eric Stanton did a whole series dedicated to face-sitting in the 70s. What’s not to love?

Eric Stanton

I’d like to end this post with some grand, sweeping statement about life and society and sexual freedom, but I think you can think up your own, because the book really speaks for itself. I’ll leave you with a little extract from the introduction:

“There is only one real antidote to the anguish engendered in humanity by its awareness of inevitable death: erotic joy.”

p.s. forgive the poor quality photos. I managed to strand myself on this little island without my beloved DSLR.

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