Tag Archives: pornographic literature

Perineum: Nether Parts of an Empire by Ambarish Satwik

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On one of those nights when you usually look for something on TV to watch along with your dinner, I came across  a news channel’s panel discussion – a rare well-moderated session on pornography. Certain members of a state  government had been caught watching porn mid-assembly, and there were heated discussions across channels. There were only 2-3 people on this particular panel whose opinions were intelligent and nuanced, and one of them was Delhi-based vascular surgeon Dr. Ambarish Satwik. But I was more than intrigued when I heard he was also an author of pornographic fiction. Naturally, I had to check him out, and Google scrolled up the tantalisingly titled Perineum: Nether Parts of an Empire. I knew I had to get it.

Also, the guy is hot. Yeah, I’m shallow like that.

Apart from this Tehelka review, and an interview in The Hindu, nothing much of either Ambarish or the book is on the internet. Several online booksellers offer customer reviews at most, but nothing really detailed enough to give you an idea of where this book could  sit on your bookshelf.  Is it literary? Is it historical fiction? Is it light reading / popular fiction? None of those questions were answered for me when I decided to purchase it.

Also, book blurbs – overburdened and vague at best – label Satwik’s writing as “feverish fictions lit by Kafka, stage-managed by Manto” (by Mukul Kesavan). Another description inside says he concocts a “Borgesian fictional labyrinth” that just made me scoff in disbelief.

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J.G. Ballard’s (1995) introduction to ‘Crash’

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I’ve been thinking of novels that have been deemed pornographic, thanks to ‘Zero Degree’, and I think J.G.Ballard’s introduction to his novel ‘Crash’ makes a great case for sexual literature, particularly, where Ballard says, “In a sense, pornography is the most political form of fiction, dealing with how we use and exploit each other, in the most urgent and ruthless way.” Ballard’s main interest was with the fetishisation of technology, but his intuition is tremendous. 

Credits: I’d taken this text from the Ballardian website (http://www.ballardian.com/) a while back, but for some reason it is now no longer available there. I highly recommend the site for anyone who may be interested in other writings by/on Ballard. 

INTRODUCTION

The marriage of reason and nightmare that has dominated the 20th century has given birth to an ever more ambiguous world. Across the communications landscape move the spectres of sinister technologies and the dreams that money can buy. Thermo-nuclear weapons systems and soft-drink commercials coexist in an overlit realm ruled by advertising and pseudo-events, science and pornography. Over our lives preside the great twin leitmotifs of the 20th century – sex and paranoia… Read the rest of this entry