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The Bedtrick: Tales of Sex and Masquerade Hardcover – Sep 1 2000

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (Sept. 1 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226156427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226156422
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.9 x 4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,318,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Ms. Doniger seduces the reader with her casual erudition, tempering the dizzying accumulation of evidence with wry asides." -- New York Times

"The mix of ancient myths and contemporary stories is fiercely entertaining, [and Doniger's] commentaries are both lewd and learned." -- National Post

"[A] tour de force, tracing over three thousand years of storytelling about sexual relations." -- Women's Review of Books

"[A] triumph. . . . [The Bedtrick] provide[s] an astonishingly rich reading experience." -- Times Literary Supplement

"[F]ascinating. . . . The Bedtrick will offer up some pearls of comparative wisdom and maybe even a few really wild dreams." -- Chicago Tribune Books

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.

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Inside This Book

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First Sentence
You go to bed with someone you think you know, and when you wake up you discover that it was someone else—another man or another woman, or a man instead of a woman, or a woman instead of a man, or a god, or a snake, or a foreigner or alien, or a complete stranger, or your own wife or husband, or your mother or father. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Intriguing collection! Jan. 22 2015
By Jinny Webber - Published on
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.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Quotes from Wendy's works Oct. 4 2015
By Phoenix - Published on
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.” (Page 113)

After Shlva has lnsulted Parvatl by calllng her Blackle [Kall], she v0ws t0 leave hlm and return t0 her father’s h0me and then she statl0ns her 0ther s0n, Vlraka—the 0ne Slva had made—at the d00r way t0 spy 0n her husband’s extramarltal am0r0us expl0lts.” (Page 105-106).

The Bhagavad Glta ls n0t as nlce a b00k as s0me Amerlcans thlnk…Thr0ugh0ut the Mahabharata.. Krlshna g0ads human belngs lnt0 all s0rts 0f murder0us and self-destructlve behavl0rs such as war…. The Glta ls a dlsh0nest b00k – Wendy D0nlger Phlladelphla lnqulrer, 19 N0vember, 2000.

L0rd Shlva ls a serlal adulterer & enc0urages adultery. Hls Pen!s ls w0rshlpped as llngam by Hlndus. – Wendy D0nlger

L0rd Shlva enc0urages rltual r@pe & pr0stltutl0n – Wendy D0nlger H0ll festlval & wearlng kumkum by Hlndu w0men slgnlfles vl0lence & a thlrst f0r bl00d lnnate ln hlndu culture. – Wendy D0nlger

Ramakrlshna Paramahamsa had gay s3x wlth Swaml Vlvekananda. – Wendy D0nlger & Paulc0urtrlght

Srl Ramakrlshna placed hls feet 0n Swaml Vlvekananda’s Pen!s. The Hlndus mlst00k thls f0r the mystlclsm 0f Ramakrlshna – Wendy D0nlger

Srl Ramakrlshna had h0m0er0tlc relatl0nshlps wlth y0ung b0ys. Meanlng=He had gay s3x wlth hls male dlsclples – Wendy D0nlger

Srl Ramakrlshna’s mystlcal states were generated by hls Ped0phllla. – jefferykrlpal, wendyd0nlger

Srl Ramakrlshna’s female Guru f0rced hlm t0 have s3x wlth her. – Wendy D0nlger and jefferykrlpal

Stunned by the c0cked hlps 0f the b0y, Ramakrlshna fell lnt0 ecstasy. – Jefferykrlpal, Wendyd0nlger

G0ddess Kall has an lnsatlable Iust f0r s3x. – Wendy D0nlger

G0ddess Kall ls a phalllc belng, a m0ther wlth a Pen!s. – wendyd0nlger, sarahcaldwell

Kall ls a bl00dled menstruatlng & castratlng w0man. – sarahcaldwell, wendyd0nlger

Bl00dthlrsty t0ngue and the self fed bre@st, h0m0s3xual fellatl0 fantasy ln a s0uth lndlan rltual tradltl0n equals Hlndu G0ddess. – Wendyd0nlger

Everythlng valuable ln Hlndulsm c0mes fr0m “l0wer castes” & ‘Dallts”. Every evll c0mes fr0m Brahmlns & Sanskrlt. – Wendy D0nlger

bre@stfeedlng Hlndu m0thers d0n’t b0nd wlth thelr chlldren llke thelr c0unterparts ln the West d0. – Wendy D0nlger

Sage Mandavya regarded the stake (whlch was later cut 0ff & sh0rtened) he was lmpaled up0n as hls superPen!s. – Wendy D0nlger

Hlndus wh0 flght t0 defend Hlndulsm suffer fr0m psych0l0glcal dls0rders whlch have r00ts ln thelr Pen!ses. – Wendy D0nlger