The Poisoned Embrace by Lawrence Osborne
A Brief History of Sexual Pessimism

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A provocative investigation into the history of sexual pessimism explores the relationship between sex and death in Western theology and distinguishes such archetypes as the Virgin, the Leper, and the Noble Savage.

About Lawrence Osborne

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Journalist, short story writer, and novelist, Lawrence Osborne is the author of one previous novel and six books of nonfiction. His short story "Volcano" was selected for Best American Short Stories 2012, and he has written for the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Forbes, Harper's, and other publications.
Published January 1, 1993 by Bloomsbury. 176 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Political & Social Sciences, Self Help, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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Osborne offers a series of archetypes that represent sexual pessimism, beginning with the ``Virgin.'' In discussing the Virgin, he offers a learned survey of medieval and ancient theories of female anatomy, and shows his command of medical history--a mastery that comes into play when he considers...

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The Independent

On Osborne's reading, Gnosticism is the veritable black rod of sexual history, brutally deflowering whatever chance Western culture ever had of having fun in having sex, leaving us spent and gnawed at by a world-historic case of tristesse.

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