[Milton-L] "nude, not naked" -- really?

Richard Strier rastrier at uchicago.edu
Tue Nov 22 11:21:37 EST 2005


Yes, we are lewd viewers.  That's what being fallen means.  In 
concept, we can distinguish before and after, but not in experience. 
Watching unfallen sex would be just as hot, if not hotter, than 
watching unfallen sex.  As would watching a nude picnic.  We would be 
kidding ourselves not to acknowledge this, and failing to take into 
account what being fallen means-- that's the "something."  Who are we 
kidding about "innocent nudity"?  In idea, yes.  In reality, no. 
Roger Scruton recently tried to argue that great art can't really be 
erotic.  What nonsense.

The Graves poem seems quite complex and tricky to me.  To think that 
it "resolves" the issue seems to me a bad reading of that nice 
(though very minor and not very serious) poem.


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