Some man said I should have a nude girl on the cover of my book. Sexist pig! I think it was the same man who said I should have rape, violence and bloodthirsty murder in my book. For that sort of thing read the papers. Sex sells, it has been said, ask a brothel keeper.
My mother said nudity symbolises truth, the truth stands naked. Did I ever swim naked? Yes. In the presence of women? No. Would that this were for Ireland, said a man dipping his toe in the water.
In London when young I visited a sex shop, done up like a Boots chemists. The female assistant asked me could she help me, I said I was only looking. She was disgusted. No money in that. I bought nothing. I treated it like a museum, they are free.
In Moore street in Dublin the vegetable sellers at stalls ask are you buying? Think twice before you do. Nice white mushrooms on the stall, but brown ones from under the counter if you buy. They sell throw outs from the fruit and vegetable market, a little known fact. I’ll scrawb the fatures off you said one to another, so my father told me. The song Biddy Mulligan celebrates them and their ilk.
This is a long way from nude girls, my mind wanders. The female form has been celebrated by artists throughout the ages, not to speak of the male. See the Sistine Chapel, was that Leonardo or Michelangelo? Don’t tell me, don’t show off. I don’t care if the Pope has dirty pictures in his chapel, we’re not having them, said a politician in our parliament discussing censorship of books with W.B. Yeats, poet and senator. We’ve got over that now, we have sex shops. There was no sex in Ireland before television said another politician of ours. We are all the result of miracle births.
I speak of course of the old days. We have grown up and got sense since. Or what passes for it. You learned about sex by osmosis in the old days, but you did learn. What is the difference between education and training? There’s sex education in schools, not sex training. Now you know.
A pretty girl on the cover sells a book, said Laurence O’Bryan, novelist and editor, to me, so I had one there. Hence the remark of that man, the nude girl fancier. So far, no nude girls in or on any book of mine. You have to draw the line somewhere, as Picasso might have said.
Imagination is a wonderful thing. Use your imagination. Did you have any bad thoughts, a priest might ask a confessor. In totalitarian states there’s such a thing as thought crime. I have thoughts but I don’t agree with them, said a man when asked in those circumstances.
A pretty girl is like a melody said someone, maybe Shakespeare. They’re all the same in the dark, said someone else. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is only skin deep. Beauty comes from within. Make up your own mind, if you have one.
I leave you to your fantasies.
How about a nudist colony in the Arctic Circle?
3rd December, 2017