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.
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.
Praise for Emmanuelle:
"Lyrical and graphic . . . But it's not all salacious play-by-play. The sex scenes are interspersed with abstract musings about the nature of sex. One of the central ideas, which I will now clinically paraphrase to conform to standards of decency, is this: The definition of the erotic is arousal, not climax . . . the book's argument reverberates beyond the erotic. The writing I most enjoy now delights in the moment's contours and textures, not surprising plot twists. The best work seduces the reader through nuanced details and observations, and does away with italics and exclamation points. It takes pleasure in the ambiguous interstices of life while dismissing its flagrant resolutions. In short, it arouses." Teddy Wayne, NPR
"This new edition reminds us how this revolutionary epic had an impact on the sexual liberation of women." Le Parisien Magazine
"Hedonistic, joyful and much more fresh than Fifty Shades of Grey." Marianne
"Emmanuelle is not just sex; it is an eroticism that is vintage, oneiric, utopian, and tender, an optimistic and radiant eroticism." lepoint.fr
"An unrestrained erotic novel, replete with details of the author’s sexual experiences and erotic philosophy. Emmanuelle Arsan has launched an all-out one-woman crusade to liberate mankind from the sexual taboos that have woven themselves into our moral nature and end up by ruling us through unjust laws." Panorama (Italy)
"Emmanuelle writes nearly as well as the Divine Marquis [de Sade], and shows the same penchant for philosophy." Le Nouvel Observateur
"Emmanuelle’s eroticism is not pathological, unlike the eroticism of revolt. It is a crucial part of the satisfaction of the individual, which feels threatened by nothing, which unfolds in harmony with the world: an eroticism of perfect accord." Le Magazine Littéraire