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I Modi: The Sixteen Pleasures, an Erotic Album of the Italian Renaissance

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More About This Book

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810108035
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1989
  • Pages: 132

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2003

    Eros and You: "I Modi" is a MUST experience.

    There is no profaning of any religion here, nor is any unnatural sexual act encouraged. That said, why start with that statement? Because this work of art is as startling[or refreshing] as the work of Surrealism, as perplexing[or confirming] as that of DaDa, and on the surface is about the act of sex between humans. It was written some 475 years ago; there are two sets of images (woodcuts and pen&ink drawings) marvelous for what is there and what is not there to us in our time, the shocking italian is translated and reads like porn script or one's personal endearing sexual comments, and the footnotes and your reading reveal the eyeopening/refreshing/revolutionary/"rebirthing"-"renaissance" meanings, for its time, layered between the texts and images. You navigate the images and text to some level of meaning - as in the year 1527, so now, no one rides in a style of one's own without effort or paying a price. The startling subtext, simplified for review here, is the idea that while you are engaged in erotic activity (even in reading this book) you are in relation to the cosmos and to time: cosmos as religious positioning, and time as an axis of personal identity upon cultural history. A masterful exposition in 16 images and 16 sonnets! Sun Tzu's The Art of War is as succinct. As with the growing familiarity you gain through your own experiences, such is the understanding you come to through perusing this book. Complexity has never prevented a human from pursuing how to find themself in relation to sex, nor does it prevent a willing reader from finding meaning, here presented through depicted sex acts, and the dialogue accompanying sex and accomplishing a sex act. Those for whom thought is an essential part of sex (either before, during, or after, or any combination thereof) welcome all such attempts in the vein of "I Modi" and in all probability will place this first contemporary translation among the first on their shelf of transforming works - next to da Vinci's collected drawings, Whitman's Leaves of Grass, Shakespeare's Lear et alia, Adam's & Jefferson's 'The Federalist', Ellison's Invisible man, Delaney's Dhalgren, and Euclid's Elements.

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