World of Wonders, Sexy World

Alberto Manguel in his introduction (dateline of Toronto, 1992) to the anthology The Gates of Paradise is magnanimous in his praise for what has survived and almost mystical in his vision.

Confronted with the task of making art out of a bewildering variety of objects and subjects, acts and variations, feelings and fears; limited by a vocabulary designed for other purposes; walking the perilous edge between pornography and sentimentality, biology and purple prose, the coy and the over-explicit; threatened by societies intent on preserving the aristocracies of established power through the censoring forces of politics, education and religion, it is a miracle that erotic literature has not only survived this long but become braver, brighter, more confident, pursuing a multi-coloured infinity of objects of desire.

For the mystic, the whole universe is one erotic object and the whole body the subject of erotic pleasure. The same can be said of every human being who discovers that not only penis and clitoris are places of pleasure but also the hands, the anus, the mouth, the hair, the soles of the feet, every inch of our astounding bodies. That which physically and mentally excites the senses and opens for us what William Blake called the Gates of Paradise, is always something mysterious and, as we all eventually find out, its shape dictated by laws of which we know nothing. We admit to loving a woman, a man, a child. Why not a gazelle, a shoe, the sky at night?
Quite a domain to explore.

And so for day 709