I’m excited about my recently published article in Jacques magazine, “The Art of Deception.” This piece examines the history of the courtesan, focusing on three historical eras when courtesan culture really flourished: ancient Greece and Rome, Renaissance Venice and fin-de-siecle Paris.
I loved researching this piece. Some of the texts I found were privately published in the early 20th century for discerning male readers, sort of as intellectual erotica. It’s amazing that men in the late 19th and early 20th centuries still found stories of Greek harlots and Roman prostitutes risque enough to attach alluring titles like “Fleshpots of Antiquity.”
I’m also excited about Jacques. It reminds me of Ralph Ginzburg’s Eros, an erotic quarterly with an intellectual bent published in 1962. Ginzburg only published four issues when the federal government, prompted by then-attorney general Robert Kennedy, indicted him on obscenity charges. He eventually went to jail for three years, a martyr to free expression – a course of events I discuss in The Forbidden Apple.
The four hardcover issues of this almost-forgotten publication are among my prized possessions. I’m glad that Jacques is picking up the torch.