Sunday, August 16, 2009

Nakedness

I have been reading John Updike's 'The Early Stories' again and have decided to follow the stories 'Too Far To Go' (TFTG). I have reached 'Nakedness'. It covers the realisation of a husband of the 'first' time he really sees his wife naked. There is both the acceptance that we are mere physical bodies but also he draws attention to the story of Adam and Eve and how when they discovered their sinfulness they also discovered the shame of nudity.

It also features this episode when they stray on to a nudist beach and watch what happens when a policeman decides to walk in and have a look:

"The nudists, paradoxically, brought more clothing to the beach than the bourgeoisie; they distinguished themselves, walking up the beach to the point, by being dressed head to toe, in denim and felt, as if they had strolled straight from the urban core of the counterculture. Now as the young cop moved among them like a sorrowing angel, they bent and huddled in the obsequious poses of redressing.
'My God,' Joan said, 'it's Massacio's Expulsion from Paradise.' And Richard felt her heart in the fatty casing of her body plump up, pleased with this link, satisfied to have demonstrated once again to herself the relevance of a humanistic education to modern experience."


Massacio - Expulsion from Paradise


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