Rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture.
Friday, September 30, 2016
Courbet's "The Origin of the World"
Nude is a word that has both academic and pleasurable, if
somewhat transgressive connotations. From the academic point of view a nude is
a classic form in which both painters and sculptors have worked. There are of
course infamous nudes, like the one in Courbet’s “The Origin of the World,” in which the
wanton pose of the subject was deemed so risqué that for many years the painting was hidden from public view.Nude when used as an adjective is hardly academic and refers to a state
in which lovers find themselves in anticipation of a sexual act. When you get
nude or you see someone in the nude you're viewing them or being viewed in a state that has to do with revelation as well as
sensory gratification. One always questions why nudity has such significance.
Biblically Adam and Eve experienced shame after they ate the
forbidden fruit, but nudity is also associated with the idea of truth. What makes nudity so special is not that we're exposing our so called private parts, but rather seeking a kind of veracity.
Nudity is a metaphor. It’s consecrated (and also forbidden) because of the way in which it symbolizes
the striving that transpires when one individual tries to show another
his or her real self.
Francis Levy's debut novel, Erotomania: A Romance, was released in August 2008 by Two Dollar Radio.
His short stories, criticism, humor, and poetry have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Village Voice, The East Hampton Star, The Quarterly, Penthouse, Architectural Digest, TV Guide, The Journal of Irreproducible Results, and other publications. One of his Voice humor pieces was anthologized in The Big Book of New American Humor (HarperCollins). He is presently the Co-Director of The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination (philoctetes.org), where he supervises roundtable discussions on topics as varied as “The Psychology of the Modern Nation State” and “Modern Traffic Theory, Behavior, and Imagination”.