Correspondence

Three Days in Sodom, Two in Gomorrah

Letter From Albion

"Party for a book? I'd love to," I mutter to my host as we land in Sodom. Five days of vacation lie before me, and as we drive to the place—"Where the old McAlpin used to be, downtown," the limousine driver reminisces—it is pleasant to think that people here still publish books. After a ride in a freight elevator, a strange scene greets us. A merry-go-round is spinning in a giant cavernous space illuminated with colored lights. Young women in festive dress are standing in groups of two or three. Some of them, accompanied by middle-aged men, apparently the guests, are already blurred in the dizzying flight of the carousel. The Wilhelmina Agency is throwing a party for a "booker." A what? I see, I had misunderstood. The booker arranges the engagements of an agency's models. This is a modeling agency. "So there is no book?" "What book?" The merry-go-round is spinning even faster now, an image out of a horror movie, a dream sequence in an art film. A few of the women are screaming, obligingly. Others stroll about the fairground, talking to the guests. Vendors are on hand with ice-cream, hot dogs, cotton candy. I see, I am in a bordello. I am one of the guests.

I think of the book I read on the plane, John Langdon Davies' forgotten treatise on nudism, The Future of Nakedness (1929). One of the problems he anticipates with nudism as a way of life: "...

Join now to access the full article and gain access to other exclusive features.

Get Started

Already a member? Sign in here

X