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Love in a Dead Language

Love in a Dead Language is a love story, a translation of an Indian sex manual, an erotic farce, and a murder mystery rolled into one. Enticing the reader to follow both victims and celebrants of romantic love on their hypertextual voyage of folly and lust-through movie posters, upside-down pages, the Kamasutra: Game of Love board game, and even a proposed CD-ROM, Love in a Dead Language exposes the complicities between the carnal and the intellectual, the erotic and the exotic and, in the end, is an outrageous operatic portrayal of romantic love.

"Rare is the book that makes one stop and wonder: Is this a literary masterpiece or do I need my head examined? But such is the alternately awe-inspiring and goofy thrall cast by Lee Siegel’s Love in a Dead Language. . . . His work stands out as a book that is not simply a novel but its own genus of rollicking, narrative scholarship . . . it is just the cerebral aphrodisiac we need." —Carol Lloyd, Salon

"Immensely clever and libidinously hilarious. . . . [T]he most astonishing thing about Love in a Dead Language is its ingenious construction. Insofar as any printed volume can lay claim to being a multimedia work, this book earns that distinction." —Paul di Filippo, Washington Post Book World

"Now along comes Lee Siegel, who mixes a bit of Borges with some Nabokov and then adds an erotic gloss from the Kama Sutra to write Love in a Dead Language, a witty, bawdy, language-rich farce of academic life. . . . Whether it is post-modern or not, Love in a Dead Language is pulled off with such unhinged élan by Mr. Siegel that it is also plain good fun, a clever, literate satire in which almost everything is both travestied and, strangely, loved by its author." —Richard Bernstein, The New York Times

"Love in a Dead Language deserves space on the short, high shelf of literary wonders." —Tom LeClair, New York Times Book Review

1999 New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year

Read an excerpt, with illustrations.

408 pages | 40 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 1999


Table of Contents

Foreword by Anang Saighal
I. Prolegomenon
A. Abstract and Epitome
B. Ideals and Fulfillment
C. Subjects and Objects
D. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
E. Paramours and Comrades
II. Fucking
A. Mix and Match
B. Squeeze and Squirm
C. Kiss and Tell
D-E. Tooth and Nail
F. Poses and Postures
G. Spanking and Moaning
H. Topsy-turvy and Vice Versa
I. The Oral Tradition
J. Alpha and Omega
III. Seduction
A. The Pick
B. The Trust
C. The Come-on
D. The Move
E. The Kill
IV. Wives and Mistresses
A. The Older Wife
B. The Younger Mistress
V-VI. Whores and Adulterers
A. The Stages of Love (Intentio Amatoris)
B. The Kamasutra (Intentio Auctoris)
C. Love in a Dead Language (Intentio Lectoris)
VII. Esoterica Erotica
A. Failure and Success
B. Secrets and Solutions


ForeWord Magazine: ForeWord Magazine Book Awards

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