The confession of the heart / the undressing of the body

June 11, 2007

[W]hat is striking in the social discourse of happiness is the alternation between the confessions of the heart and the baring of the body. Love stories and eroticism no doubt tell of the same movement, but on two different registers. For both, however, an unveiling takes place.

It can be interpreted as a sexual or a sentimental exhibitionism. And often rightly so. But this gesture contains a more fundamental meaning. It seeks to display what is hidden and, thereby, to withdraw what separates. The confession of the heart and, in a more radical but (paradoxically) more symbolic way, the undressing of the body function as the allegory of a quest for pleasure, for communion, or for reality. It is a demystification even if it still retains the form of a myth.

– Michel de Certeau, Culture in the Plural

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One Response to “The confession of the heart / the undressing of the body”

  1. philip Says:

    nate the grad ..our friendly library mascot!


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