The naked truth

I’ve typed the words “naked under clothes” and Google gave me hundreds of entries. Blogs, personal sites and even novels. In one novel (p. 5) I read

Actually, for all I knew, all beautiful young women these days might be completely nude beneath their clothes. But her look told me quickly that hers was a calculated nudeness, a premeditated nudeness, nudeness in the first degree.

I decided I must know unambiguously who was the first to tell the world the truth that we are all naked under our clothes. It was not difficult to find out that a similar saying was ascribed to German romantic poet Heinrich Heine (1797-1856). Since I had gaps in my knowledge of German literature, I turned to ‘The works of Heinrich Heine‘. The search was crowned with success when I got Heinrich Heine’s ‘Pictures of Travel’. Here is short extract from the book.

But will not the ladies be offended at my saying breeches instead of trousers? – Oh, the refined feelings of ladies! In the end only eunuchs will dare to write for them, and their spiritual servants in the West must be as harmless as their body servants in the East.

Here a fragment from Berthold’s diary comes into my head.

“If we only reflect on it, we are all naked under our clothes,” said Doctor M—– to a lady who was offended by a rather cynical remark to which he had given utterance.

It looks like the significant discovery about our naked nature was made by unknown Doctor M—–, while Heine got to know it at second-hand, from Berthold’s diary! Of course, it remains uncertain whether Doctor M—– was the only one who discovered this naked truth. This problem needs further investigation. Maybe the researchers of Heine’s works can determine the full name of the mysterious Doctor M—– and grateful mankind will always remember this man.

By the window 2

Since I don’t have any portrait of Doctor M—–, I’ve decided to illustrate this post with my self-portrait :-).

1 comment
  1. Rick said:

    I’ve been hearing that phrase for years and have used it often myself but never gave a thought as to its origin.

    Doctor M is right, once we reflect on it, it’s quite obvious that we are nude under our clothes.

    I liked the first quote.

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