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The Naked and the Nude

The Naked and the Nude

by Robert Graves

Lust Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

the nude are sly (13)

Notice how the verbs in these descriptions are all conjugations of "to be"? The nudes don't seem sly. Nope. They ARE sly, which is funny, because "nudes" tend to describe artworks, like paintings or statues. (If that's what's meant here, we've got some pretty powerful personification going on.) And it's a little weird for art to be sly. Another reading here is that the speaker is not describing art so much, as its effects on an audience (boldly impactful, or slyly suggestive).

Quote #5

deficiency of dress
Or shelter (4-5)

Hmm. When someone shouts, "Let's get naked!" it just sounds a whole lot more exciting than when someone says, "Let us now take advantage of our deficiency of dress and shelter." (Talk about a weird pick-up line.) This just goes to prove our poet's point: some words are more lust-inspiring than others. And "dress deficiency" just isn't all that high on our list.

Quote #6

Yet when they both together tread
The briary pastures of the dead, (21-22)

Yeah, yeah, we know. This is so far from sexy that we can't even believe it's in the lust category. But hear us out: we're pretty sure that the turn to dead bodies at the end is sorta the point. Not everything is about sexy times. Sometimes bodies are just…bodies. They die. (And then they run around and get whipped. Of course.)

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