Thursday, 23 February 2012

In the nude

I live on an island located within spitting distance of the equator and the setting on the regional thermostat is stuck at HOT. I don't thrive in heat; it makes me want to do nothing more strenuous than lie around and pant while fantasizing about diving headfirst into a pool filled with chilled watermelon cubes, or having a clutch of buff, dedicated young men in togas take turns at sliding ice cubes all over my skin. Focusing on anything that takes actual effort, such as writing, is really asking too much.

The first thing I do on entering the house is strip; once I'm in the privacy of my home I wear little or nothing. I've written roughly half a million words of fiction, most of them in the buff (or close), late at night when the air has cooled enough to render me capable of coherent thought.

My relatives and friends who know of my aversion to clothing are unanimous in their verdict: "Girl, you're CRA-ZY!" I was therefore delighted to stumble across an article this week that proved I was not alone in my strange (to others, utterly natural to me) predilection for writing au naturel. These famous authors did not live in the tropics, to my knowledge, so heat and humidity could not have been that much of a problem for them, but they're kindred naturist spirits.
  • Agatha Christie liked to write in the bathtub. (Sounds lovely, but I'm a shower gal.)
  • Benjamin Franklin liked to take 'air baths' where he sat around naked in a cold room for a couple hours while he wrote. (Air baths rock!)
  • D.H. Lawrence, author of the controversial erotic novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover (one of my favourites), liked to climb mulberry trees in the nude before coming down to write. (Um, no. No splinters in delicate crannies, thank you.)
  • Ernest Hemingway, author of A Farewell to Arms and other classics, wrote nude, standing up, with his typewriter about waist level. (His cousin Edward Hemingway opened Britain’s oldest nudist colony, a nine-bedroom chateau called Metherell Towers, back in the 1930s. Cool!)
  • Victor Hugo, author of Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, overcame writer's block by having his servant take all of his clothes away for the day leaving him nude with only pen and paper so he’d have nothing to do but sit down and write. (Wasn't life simple before they invented the Internet...)
I'm in such great company. I can't help wondering, though: Are there other closet naturist writers out there - or am I the last survivor of an almost extinct species?

    4 comments:

    Deborah (Debs) Carr said...

    I don't mind the heat if I don't have to dress up and go anywhere. Then again, we never get temperatures in the same region that you must do living so close to the equator.

    Great post too.x

    Jackie Jordan said...

    I do understand unbearable heat, being from south Louisiana. I am allergic to cold weather, though, with involuntary shaking taking over my body. You do have an air conditioner, don't you? If not, you have my sympathies ...

    Liane Spicer said...

    Thank you, Debs. Your new picture is lovely, by the way.

    Dressing up and going out in the heat of the day is the absolute worst!

    Liane Spicer said...

    Jackie, I have several writer friends from Louisiana and I gather the state has much in common with the Caribbean. I haven't experienced a true northern winter so can't say how I would react to sustained cold weather, but I spent a couple winters in South Florida and when the temp dropped to the 40s and 30s it got a bit unpleasant.

    No AC at home, so I live in front of a fan. I was a teacher for 23 years and not even the staff rooms were air conditioned. Purgatory!