All this Francophilia--layered with the Japanese paintings, Indian erotology
, cordon-bleu elitism, precious language, blind racism, and general atmosphere of luxury--reads like a dizzying Nabokov knockoff.
Moens, it can be regarded as the swansong of traditional Javano-Muslim erotology, being an exhaustive study of female physiognomy, sexual intercourse and (to a lesser extent) the mystery of generation, embellished with illustrations of all kinds of women (many nude) and various coital positions.
In his encyclopaedic Bustan as-salatin (Garden of kings), he wrote: 'The things which rouse sexual desire are watching copulating people or copulating animals, looking at the pudenda of animals, and reading the books which have been written by the "ulama" about erotology, listening to stories about lustful people, and listening to the melodious voice of a woman...'(10)
Next I discuss its contents, paying special attention to its chapter on the positions in sexual intercourse, because this section in my view constitutes the heart of Javanese erotology: sexual fulfillment within marriage, to enjoy sex not for its own sake, but for procreation.
Javanese erotology is a subgenre of this moralistic-didactic literature, dealing with the more carnal aspects of marital life.
As the history of Javanese erotology has yet to be written, it is at present impossible to disentangle indigenous and foreign elements.
She places the text in the tradition of Arabic erotology
, even as she places its author within the world of double exile: exile in Spain from his Islamic culture which was stripped from him progressively by the Inquisition, then exile in Tunisia from Spain and the Spanish literary world which he loved.