Friday, April 18, 2014

“Ode to a Beautiful Nude”

Just a day or two ago, the Met’s Twitter feed featured one of their paintings that had made the Guardian’s list of the top 10 male nudes in art (why is everything a top 10, or 6 things you need to know, or some easily quantifiable list?).  While Neruda is not writing about male nudes, having just seen this list, I was struck by how vexed any nude still is in our culture—all the, er, details of the featured male nudes from the Guardian’s list were delicately cropped or draped.  Neruda’s nudes are definitely nude—a lovely openness.  Of course, the first Neruda book I owned was Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon.  Come on—you gotta love that.