Monday, December 22, 2008

James Hawes, a British lecturer and satirical novelist, in his recent book “Excavating Kafka” bombed by revealing uncelebrated “erotica” stash kept in a locked bookshelf in the journal Amethyst (1905-1906), later retitled Opals (1907) by the eminent writer Franz Kafka . They’re archived at the British Library and the Bodleian Library at Oxford.Kafka’s erotica contains illustrations, some surreal or satirical in nature. One has a wiry skeleton reaching for a cowering miniature nude; another, a frog’s mouth on a suggestively shaped plant.
The journal Amethyst / Opals was privately published and was available only via subscription in numbered, limited editions. It included reprints of material by Goethe, illustrations by artists like Aubrey Beardsley, and reprinted and newly translated erotic prose from old and recent Turkish, Indian, French, English and Italian texts, including writing by Casanova, Wilde, Rimbaud, Keats and the symbolist poet Verlaine. There was also cutting-edge fiction, like the debut of a seminal Expressionist novel, “Bebuquin” by Carl Einstein. Interestingly enough Kafka’s friend Max Brod , who later ignoring Kafka’s wishes to burn his work, published them and helped establish Kafka as a legend , was also a contributor to that journal.It is also another interesting fact that Franz Blei, te publisher of that erotic journal was the first publisher of Kafka
Kafka was not very interested with Amethyst / Opals and in one of his letter to Max Brod, he once wrote to split the cost of an expensive subscription to Amethyst, though he doesn’t go into detail about what that means. Max Brod mentioned that Kafka could never get to read more than a line of two of Casanova because according to Kafka the novel was dirty, immoral seemed to have no attraction for him.
These all facts may make the readers confused, but Mr. Hawes writes, “Things get far simpler if we forget the icon and, for once, just try to treat Kafka as a normal human being.”
Further reading: Six questions for James Hawes in Harper’s Magazine

Sunday, November 30, 2008


There are many Ed Bakers in USA and when I googled against that name, I found a lot of persons including both male and female and interestingly enough all are claiming as artist,poet and writers.

Ed Baker, I am telling here was born on Washington, D.C. April 19,1941 and now resides at Takoma Park , Md .Passed his BA in English/History from University of Maryland, 1967 and MA degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1971 , has published a poetry book The City from Red Ochre Press, 1974 .But after a stroke his writings were dropped out from 1975 to 1998 and after that he erupted with his art AND poetry .He published Restoration Poems Country Valey Press, 2007, Hexapoems 1, 1972/2008 Stone Girl E-pic 5 volumes (tel let 2003, book 1, and 2)Full Moon (10,000 haiku re: "full moon) tel let, 2001Wild Orchid (Sumi-e Fay Chin, poems, Ed Baker) tel let 2002 .

My latest novel
THE DARK ABODE is a collage presentation with Ed's sketch book Uma . where the publisher has chosen 23 sketches . Both my novel The Dark Abode and Ed's Uma is on sexual power of woman and it is obvious we both think about the topic in same line .Ed is also cover artist of my two books The Dark Abode as well as Waiting for Manna

It is interesting for me to know that Ed, who thinks himself as a "self-taught" or Outsider 'artist', has dreamt once the sketches and he knows very little about Eastern Philosophy of sexuality . This gives me a support to build my ideas on sexuality and creativity .

Here is a conversation between me and Ed .

Q How did this idea of Uma come to your mind?

A I don't know. It begins in a dream and then an image is born. I am not aware of that image until my pen/brush/crayon puts it onto paper. The image -- here, Uma is a symbol of many things of a life/pleasure-giving nature – well, I just wait for 'her' to 'get into the way' and I just do as 'she' bid and produce images of her.

How do the images, thoughts, etc. come into my mind? I just don't know. Magic? I just watch and wait for something to happen…and something always does.

Q Do you have any idea about the 'Prakriti/Purusha' concept of the

Samkhya Philosophy of India?

A I begin from an 'emptiness of mind.' What is this? I will have to look them up in a book or on the internet.

'Prakriti' and 'Purusha' as you call them are new names to me. Maybe this image of Uma is at the bottom a universal and basic human manifestation? The goddess of regeneration, etc.

Q What is the relation of 'sexuality' with art?

A I don't think in terms of an absolute definition. Just describe or produce a poem or a piece on paper or in stone/wood/clay and then, and only after the fact can I have a conversation with what is in my mind that I could otherwise have and make love for/with/to "her."

As far as sexuality in art? Well, male and/or female do 'art,' – yang/yin as one…

As Picasso frequently said, "All art is erotic." Are sexuality and eros the same? I cannot separate this 'thing' out of my mind so my imagination leaps. What it the moment and just-as-it-is is adequate? 12,000 images of Uma and all the different manifistations/names/images/positons of "her."

Q Don't you think that sex is a private matter for an individual and it

should not be discussed either in art or in literature?

Well, 'make love, not war.'

Religions and Politics have made sex a dirty word or have made copulation, both inside and out, a sin. This is done for several reasons: power, greed, anger, ignorance. Well, do you know the No. 1 industry in the entire world is now pornography, which is not what we are here either discussing or doing? What is it that is most viewed on the 'net? As if anything virtual is real.

Q What is your idea on 'shakti' and do you think this 'shakti' should be

adhered to sexual energy?

A 'Shakti' is the other side of the male principal [not sure of where he's at here, sorry] as he is manifested in 10,000 forms/images/symbols…undifferentiated.

After all, everyone is here because a male and female had sex – in private…in public!

When he/she wants to be born…asks to be born (or reborn), the sperm gets to the proper egg via a moment of pleasure…our human condition also.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wetka Polang, 30, and Melka Nilsa, 22, two tribal day labourers of Dandabadi village in Koraput, a tribal dominated district of Orissa, got married and are living together and also the local society has accepted their marriage , as described by BBC . The news sources added

"They [Wetka and Melka] wanted to prove that they can live without the help of men. They also love each other very much. So we decided to forgive them," said village elder Melka Powla.

But the two tribal women had to pay fines to their community to get it to bless their union - they offered a barrel of country liquor, a pair of oxen, and a sack of rice and hosted a family feast.

Eventually, last month, Wetka applied vermillion on Melka's forehead in the tradition of Indian marriage ceremonies before a disari or community priest, said village elder Dalimangi Chexa.

Now the couple say they are happy.

"We are leading a blissful married life. We love each other very much," Wetka told the BBC.

Both the women have had unhappy experiences with men in the past.

Wetka says she walked out of her marriage to an alcoholic after years of abuse.

Melka's family had arranged her marriage with another local man much against her wishes - she managed to break the engagement by telling the man's family that he was mentally "not normal".

The two women now hope to extend their family by adopting the son of Wetka's elder brother.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sex and the City

Recently the film “Sex and the City”, written and directed by Michael Patrick King , has been released in the USA , was based on the popular HBO TV show with the same name . The film has followed the continuing sexual desires and fantasies of four main characters - Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda and their travails in life and love. The show often depicts frank discussions about romance and sexuality, particularly in the context of being a single woman in her mid-thirties . Stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon are all on board to reprise their roles .

Criticised as an anti feminist film , The New York Times deemed the film "dumpy" and "desperate", the Guardian said it is "unbelievably girly, whirly and twirly", while Scotland on Sunday's own critic wants to see Carrie Bradshaw's head stuffed into a Prada bowling bag.

Most of the individual feminists have raised their voice against this film and have blamed for making the female mind only obsessed for sex rather to discuss many aspects the females are encountering now days in USA .
An online survey of more than 10,000 moviegoers buying tickets for "Sex and the City" found that 94 percent were women, and that 67 percent planned to attend the movie this weekend with a group of female friends.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Kamala : In Search of Love

Getting a man to love you is easy
Only be honest about your wants as
Woman, Stand nude before the glass with him

So that he sees himself the stronger one
And believes it so, and you so much more

Softer, younger, lovelier. Admit your
Admiration. Notice the perfection

Of his limbs, his eyes reddening under

The shower, the shy walk across the bathroom floor,

Dropping towels, and the jerky way he

Urinates. All the fond details that make
Him male and your only man। Gift him all,

Gift him what makes you woman, the scent of

Long hair, the musk of sweat between the breasts,

The warm shock of menstrual blood, and all your

Endless female hungers. Oh yes, getting
A man to love is easy, but living
Without him afterwards may have to be

Faced. A living without life when you move

Around, meeting strangers, with your eyes that

Gave up their search, with ears that hear only

His last voice calling out your name and your

Body which once under his touch had gleamed
Like burnished brass, now drab and destitute .

(The Looking Glass : Kamla Das )

(Kamala Das was short listed for Nobel Prize for literature in 1984 along with Marguerite Yourcenar, Doris Lessing, and Nadine Gordimer. Apart from that she received many awards for her literary contributions like Asian Poetry Prize, Kent Award for English Writing from Asian Countries, Asian World Prize, Sahitya Academy Award and Kerala Sahitya Academy Award etc.
In 1984 in an interview with Shobha Wariyar for Eve's Weekly, she made the following statement: "Yes, I know, yesterday I might have been against liberation, today I am for it. Tomorrow I do not know what I would say, and how I feel".
In her autobiography -- My Story -- she told the story of her sexual life, her relationship with men and her views on the world. My Story gave her the image of being an amoral woman. But it was a huge success and has been published in more than 15 languages. It is now a school textbook in Japan and Canada.
She released her first nude painting in the 1980s, she proclaimed: "I find the nude female body the most beautiful in the world."
She makes no attempt to hide the sensuality of the human form; her work seems to celebrate its joyous potential while acknowledging its concurrent dangers.
She once said, "I always wanted love, and if you don't get it within your home, you stray a little"(Warrior interview). Some might label her as "a feminist" for her candor in dealing with women's needs and desires.
At the age of 67 , she converted her self to Muslim to marry a young man. After converting herself to Islam ,she argued that Purdah in Islam is the most wonderful dress for women in the world. And she had always loved to wear the purdah.and it gives women a sense of security. Only Islam gives protection to women.About her conversion to Islam she told that she had been lonely all through her life. At nights, she used to sleep by embracing a pillow. But she was no longer a loner. Islam was her company. According to her Islam is the only religion in the world that gives love and protection to women.
She shifted all the Hindu idols in her home, including her intimate ''friend and love'' Lord Krishna to the guestroom , saying namaz five times a day has become a regular feature. Her formal initiation into Islam took place in front of the Muslim clergy at Palayam mosque in Thiruvananthapuram .
But in 2006 , she has issued a statement at a book releasing ceremony organized by Kairali Books in Kochi that she deeply regrets converting to Islam and is disillusioned with the treacherous behavior of her Muslim friends. She claims that all her wealth amounting to several lakhs, gold ornaments, books and other valuables have been looted by Muslims.)