Emmanuelle II

Emmanuelle II

by Emmanuelle Arsan, Anselm Hollo

View All Available Formats & Editions

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


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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

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

Product Details

Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

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.

Meet 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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >