Friday, May 06, 2005

Cocteau's beautiful description of a man's body

In Le livre blanc Cocteau writes of:

a perfect body, rigged out with muscles like a ship with ropes, its limbs appearing to open out like a star around that fleece where there rises, in contrast to woman, who is built for concealment, the only thing about a man which cannot lie.

I must read the French, but the English is very good. The trouble is, you can pick several holes in it: from its old-fashioned idea that womens' sexual parts are concealed to the very dodgy assertion that a man's penis tells the truth. You know what he means: the penis can neither conceal its desire nor fake it. But pity those who mistake its fleeting interest for anything "more".

Still, it has that amazing simile, "rigged out with muscles like a ship with ropes" which alone is worth an evening's awestruck contemplation, and the star, and the fleece. It may not be perfect, but it is still very, very good.

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