Chocolate: and other writings on male homoeroticism
This volume makes available for the first time in English the work of a significant Indian nationalist author, Pandey Bechan Sharma, better known in India as "Ugra," meaning "extreme." His bookChocolate, a 1927 collection of eight stories, was the first work of Hindi fiction to focus on male same-sex relations, and its publication sparked Indiars"s first public debates about homosexuality. Many prominent figures, including Gandhi, weighed in on the debates, which lasted into the 1950s. This edition, translated and with an introduction by Ruth Vanita, includes the full text ofChocolatealong with an excerpt from Ugrars"s novelLetters of Some Beautiful Ones(also published in 1927). In her introduction, Vanita situates Ugra and his writings in relation to Indian nationalist struggles and Hindi literary movements and feuds, and she analyzes the controversies that surroundedChocolate. Those outraged by its titillating portrayal of homosexuality labeled the collection obscene. On the other side, although no one explicitly defended homosexuality in public, some justified Ugrars"s work by arguing that it was the artistrs"s job to educate through provocation.The stories depict male homoeroticism in quotidian situations: a man brings a lover to his disapproving friendrs"s house; a good-looking young man becomes the object of desire at his school. The love never ends well, but the depictions are not always unsympathetic. Although Ugra claimed that the stories were aimed at suppressing homosexuality by exposing it, Vanita highlights the ambivalence of his characterizations. Cosmopolitan, educated, and hedonistic, the Hindu and Muslim men he portrayed quote Hindi and Urdu poetry to express their love, and they justify same-sex desire by drawing on literature, philosophy, and world history. Vanitars"s introduction includes anecdotal evidence thatChocolatewas enthusiastically received by Indiars"s homosexual communities.
14 pages matching beautiful boys in this book
Results 1-3 of 14
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Queering India: Same-sex Love and Eroticism in Indian Culture and Society
Limited preview - 2002
Gandhi's Tiger and Sita's Smile: Essays on Gender, Sexuality, and Culture
Limited preview - 2005
Other editions - View all
appeared asked beautiful boys Bechan Sharma Ugra began beloved Brahmacharya Brajbhasha British brother Calcutta Chaturvedi Chocolate claimed couplet debate Delhi demon depicts Dinkar Babu Discussing Chocolate erotic essay eyes face fee Din Char fiction Frances Pritchett Gandhi ghaslet Govind Hari Harisundar Harnarayan heart Hindu homoeroticism homophobia homosexuality jail Kalyanchandra kiss Kulli letter literature litterateurs look Love in India Love with Lucknow lover Lucknow madwoman Mahashayji male male-male desire Matvala meaning modern Indian Murari Muslim narrator nationalist Nirala Nirala Rachanavali novel obscene Oscar Wilde paan Pandey Bechan Sharma Parsi Phagun Phagun fee play poet poetry Prasad Babu prisoners quote Ramesh Ramu replied Ruth Vanita Saheb Sahitya Saleem Kidwai Same-Sex Love Sanskrit Section 377 sexual She-Cobra sitting society Sukhu Tagore tell term theater translated Tripathi Tulsidas Ugra's stories Urdu Urdu poetry Vanita and Kidwai verse Vishal Bharat Waist Curved warder Western women word writing