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Locating Pleasure in Indian History: Prescribed and Proscribed Desires in Visual and Literary Cultures

Seema Bawa (Author)

Locating Pleasure in Indian History is one of the first works on the subject of the 'discourse of pleasure' in Indian history and culture. A rigorous, source-based work, it examines the cultural practices and the underlying philosophic matrix of pleasures, big or small. It recovers the production and consumption of beauty, desire and gratification in the world of pleasure, pleasurable pursuits and pleasant experiences of viewing, performing, thinking, debating, cooking, eating, listening, writing, creating and procreating.

The contributions retrieve the discourse of pleasure in visual and literary cultures-in elite and popular spheres, including the public and private domains of the bazaar, the temple, the household, the court and the garden. Further, it is examined in the urbane art of Mathura, Ravana's palace in the art of 7th CE western Deccan, the suratkhana of Rajput royalty or domestic pleasures of women in the labyrinths of the Puranas.

With over 40 photographs, it historicises ideological and experiential conundrums thrown up by the idea of pursuing alimentary, carnal and even pious desires in visual and literary cultures. The reflexivity inherent in the work of artists, poets, dramatists and even shastrins is brought out through moments of pleasure and counter-pleasure as revealed through anecdotes, narratives, artefacts and objects of aesthetic gratification.

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Bibliographic information

Title Locating Pleasure in Indian History: Prescribed and Proscribed Desires in Visual and Literary Cultures
Author Seema Bawa
Format Hardcover
Date published: 21.12.2021
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Bloomsbury India
Language: English
isbn 9789390513727
length 308p.
Subjects History