Emmanuelle II: The Joys of a Woman

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9780345240989: Emmanuelle II: The Joys of a Woman
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Emmanuelle is, alongside Story of O, a classic book of erotica and the most famous French underground novel of the late twentieth century and a work of seductive literary merit. Emmanuelle II continues the story of an unforgettable woman, a happy sensualist, whose unusual erotic experimentation explores the philosophy of sexuality in a novel of literary and philosophical merit.

The beautiful heroine's initiation into the ecstasies of love are here set against the exotic background of Thailand, where she easily moves from the attentions of a handsome Siamese prince at an elegant soiree to the dark ante-chamber of a Buddhist temple to learn how the vow of celibacy can be cleverly circumvented by a venerable old monk.

A sensual delight, Emmanuelle II succeeds, like few novels before it, in pushing the philosophy of eroticism to the frontiers of myth. This is one of the few erotic novels of ideas since Sade. Its exploration of delightful fantasy transformed into exquisite fulfillment makes this one of the finest erotic novels every published. It is as pertinent today as it was four decades ago.

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About the Author:

Emmanuelle Arsan is the pseudonym of Marayat and Louis Jacques Rollet-Andriane. Emmanuelle was initially revealed to be written by Marayat, in order to conceal the identity of her husband, a French diplomat stationed in Thailand. Several more novels were published under the Emmanuelle Arsan moniker, including Emmanuelle II.

Anselm Hollo (translator)wrote more than thirty books, including the essay collection Caws & Causeries and Notes on the Possibilities and Attractions of Existence: New and Selected Poems 1965-2000, which received the San Francisco Poetry Center's Book Award for 2001. His translation of Pentii Saarikoski's Trilogy received the 2004 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets. He was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, two grants from The Fund for Poetry, and the Government of Finland's Distinguished Foreign Translator's Award.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 2: The Invitation

She can not really be seen from the street, as there are trees obscuring the view. But she has no doubts whatsoever that her neighbors are ogling her behind their windows opening onto her garden across the hedge. Who are they? She has no idea. She has never seen them. Will they resent the sight? Perhaps they are masturbating? She imagines their frenzied hands--and her clitoris rises and hardens, sending urgent messages all the way up to her throbbing temples. . . .

Mario's voice gives her a start.

"Do you ever stroke yourself in front of your servants?" he wants to know.

"Oh, sure."

But in actual fact only Ea is her mute confidante when Emmanuelle makes love to herself in the mornings, in her bed or in the shower, or, after lunch, on the chaise-longue, while reading or listening to records. Her other domestics--as far as she knows, at least--are lacking in such curiousity.

"Well, then," her visitor goes on, "be generous, call your houseboy. Yes, right now. He's so handsome!"

Emmanuelle feels her heart sink. No, that really goes too far! Mario must understand. . . . It would seem, she remarks, that he is making up for time lost! Then, for a moment, she thinks, she can her the "beeps" of fate, measuring her guilt. That's one, and there goes another: how many minutes of eternity have already been entered on debit side? Then she realizes she will, sooner or later, act according to his predictions (because he is not giving her any orders, but simply reading her own wishes, only half a step ahead of her consciousness); so what is the use of procrastinating? Without even a sigh, she calls out the boy's name, not very audibly at first, then loudly.

The servant appears, his eyes and gait like those of a jungle cat. Mario motions him closer and makes him kneel in front of her.

"Do you want him to make you come?" Mario asks.

Emmanuelle bites her lip; she wants to warn Mario that the young man understands French. But Mario has already started talking to him, in a language she has never heard before. The boy replies, muttering under his breath, his eyes downcast, and as ill-at-ease, it seems, as Emmanuelle herself. Mario sounds like a lecturer--the tone is familiar! How nice it sounds, she thinks, a little lesson in erotology, in demotic Thai. . . . She finds it amusing, despite the awkwardness of the situation. Nevertheless she is startled to point of bounding off the wall when Mario--without warning--guides the boy's hand to her vulva, showing him what needs to be done, preventing him from undoing his own clothes, and correcting his initial fumbling. But it doesn't take the boy's fingers more than a moment or two to acquire the right strokes, and Mario lets them pursue their task without his assistance.

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ISBN 10:  0802122361 ISBN 13:  9780802122360
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Emmanuelle Arsan
Published by Ballantine Books (1976)
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