All together

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All together

Post by Bobinwales » Fri May 04, 2018 11:05 pm

I have been suffering with an ear worm all day. Remember Danny Kaye as Hans Christian Andersen? "The king is in the all together, All together..."
How did all together ever come to mean naked? It is bothering me almost as much as the ear worm!
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Re: All together

Post by BonnieL » Sun May 06, 2018 12:01 am

The only Danny Kaye song I remember & get stuck in my head on occasion is the Inchworm song - from the same movie, I think.

Your question is a good one - I'll be checking for replies!
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Re: All together

Post by trolley » Sun May 06, 2018 1:55 am

I'm thinking:
the all together- every piece there is-the complete package-the full monty.
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Re: All together

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sun May 06, 2018 4:31 am

Merriam-Webster appears to have a handle on this one:
Definition: not wearing any clothes: nude

Our definition of this word includes the descriptors “informal” and “old-fashioned,” and if we were to be slightly uncharitable we might include “borne of error” as well ​since the term appears to have come from a literary misreading. In the altogether is believed to have come from Trilby, the 1894 novel by George du Maurier, in which the titular heroine describes how she models (she describes it as “the altogether,” rather than “in the altogether”). This ‘altogether’ modeling was not necessarily meant to describe nudity in the book, but the public was glad to believe that it did (a Massachusetts newspaper breathlessly reported “Trilby, the heroine, is an artist’s model who earns her living by posing, nude or draped, either in portions or in the ‘altogether.’”)

A La Trilby. Egypt’s Pose was to be in “The Altogether.” Boston Daily Globe, 13 Jan. 1897
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Re: All together

Post by tony h » Sun May 06, 2018 11:39 am

I must say I was surprised by the origin being Trilby and then the coyness over the declaration that she was nude. An uncle of mine was an artist and would collect body parts in a notebook: noses, feet, hands (and other bits) and, like Constable with his stock of trees to put in a deserving landscape, might assemble these as suited the composition. So when I read (I include a relatively long passage as I think the context is relevant):
She said this in English, with an accent half Scotch and certain French intonations, and in a voice so rich and deep and full as almost to suggest an incipient tenore robusto; and one felt instinctively that it was a real pity she wasn't a boy, she would have made such a jolly one.

"We're delighted, on the contrary," said Little Billee, and advanced a chair for her.

But she said, "Oh, don't mind me; go on with the music," and sat herself down cross-legged on the model-throne near the piano.

As they still looked at her, curious and half embarrassed, she pulled a paper parcel containing food out of one of the coat-pockets, and exclaimed:

"I'll just take a bite, if you don't object; I'm a model, you know, and it's just rung twelve—'the rest.' I'm posing for Durien the sculptor, on the next floor. I pose to him for the altogether."

"The altogether?" asked Little Billee.

"Yes—l'ensemble, you know—head, hands, and feet—everything—especially feet. That's my foot," she said, kicking off her big slipper and stretching out the limb. "It's the handsomest foot in all Paris. There's only one in all Paris to match it, and here it is," and she laughed heartily (like a merry peal of bells), and stuck out the other.

And in truth they were astonishingly beautiful feet, such as one only sees in pictures and statues—a true inspiration of shape and color, all made up of delicate lengths and subtly modulated curves and noble straightnesses and happy little dimpled arrangements in innocent young pink and white.

So that Little Billee, who had the quick, prehensile, æsthetic eye, and knew by the grace of Heaven what the shapes and sizes and colors of almost every bit of man, woman, or child should be (and so seldom are), was quite bewildered to find that a real, bare, live human foot could be such a charming object to look at, and felt that such a base or pedestal lent quite an antique and Olympian dignity to a figure that seemed just then rather grotesque in its mixed attire of military overcoat and female petticoat, and nothing else!
It can be read that "for the altogether" meant the full body not simply a head shot or, hands or, whatever. Emphasising that Trilby was delightful in her entirety, discernible even whilst wrapped in a military greatcoat. Not just a pretty face.

This seems to be confirmed later when Trilby says:
"I have sat for the altogether to several other people besides—M. Gérôme, Durien, the two Hennequins, and Émile Baratier; and for the head and hands to lots of people, and for the feet only to Charles Faure, André Besson, Mathieu Dumoulin, and Collinet. Nobody else.
It is later when it is clear she must be thought of as nude - Ingres's La Source, the pose she is copying, is certainly nude:
So that Monday morning found her there, and Carrel posed her as Ingres's famous figure in his picture called "La Source," holding a stone pitcher on her shoulder.
...
Could it possibly be that he was shocked at seeing her sitting there?
...
She also remembered how Little Billee had always been silent whenever she alluded to her posing for the "altogether," as she called it, and had sometimes looked pained and always very grave.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Source_(Ingres)

PS (as I am sure you may know) The Trilby hat is named after the Trilby in the book.

PPS I feel I must add this tragic footnote from the Wikipedia page:
The model for the painting was the young daughter of Ingres' concierge.[11] In his Confessions of a Young Man, Irish novelist George Moore wrote, with relation to the morality of artistic production, "What care I that the virtue of some sixteen-year-old maid was the price for Ingres' La Source? That the model died of drink and disease in the hospital is nothing when compared with the essential that I should have La Source, that exquisite dream of innocence."
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I'm puzzled therefore I think.

Re: All together

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sun May 06, 2018 6:46 pm

tony h wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 11:39 am
It can be read that "for the altogether" meant the full body not simply a head shot or, hands or, whatever. Emphasising that Trilby was delightful in her entirety, discernible even whilst wrapped in a military greatcoat. Not just a pretty face.

This seems to be confirmed later when Trilby says:
"I have sat for the altogether to several other people besides—M. Gérôme, Durien, the two Hennequins, and Émile Baratier; and for the head and hands to lots of people, and for the feet only to Charles Faure, André Besson, Mathieu Dumoulin, and Collinet. Nobody else."
It is later when it is clear she must be thought of as nude - Ingres's La Source, the pose she is copying, is certainly nude:
So that Monday morning found her there, and Carrel posed her as Ingres's famous figure in his picture called "La Source," holding a stone pitcher on her shoulder.
One line of inquiry for pinning down what Trilby meant by 'the altogether' which occurred to me was to look up all the individuals that she mentions, to see what kind of work they produced (specifically, did any of them seem to specialise in nudes?)

Unfortunately, I found no relevant trace of any of these names in either the English-language or French-language Wikipedias, or anywhere else online. I therefore suspect that George du Maurier made them up; otherwise, one would expect that if at least one or two of the painters or sculptors listed were well known in the period in which the novel is set, they would also crop up somewhere in cyberspace.
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Re: All together

Post by tony h » Mon May 07, 2018 9:09 am

@Erik_Kowal

The first point I was making was the differentiation between "altogether" and just head, feet or hands or whatever.

It is the reference to Ingres that makes it clear, that in that context at least, she must be nude and that the writer of the editorial originally quoted must have missed that.

Ingres's La Source is very famous. I saw it in the Louvre after Botham became a national hero.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Source_(Ingres)

Image
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Re: All together

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon May 07, 2018 12:53 pm

Good point, Tony.

And thanks for posting the Ingres painting here; it underscores your comments very well.
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Re: All together

Post by tony h » Mon May 07, 2018 4:52 pm

Erik_Kowal wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 12:53 pm
Good point, Tony.

And thanks for posting the Ingres painting here; it underscores your comments very well.
Thank you.

When you see the painting this quote (repeated from above) seems ever more tragic from the Wikipedia page:
The model for the painting was the young daughter of Ingres' concierge.[11] In his Confessions of a Young Man, Irish novelist George Moore wrote, with relation to the morality of artistic production, "What care I that the virtue of some sixteen-year-old maid was the price for Ingres' La Source? That the model died of drink and disease in the hospital is nothing when compared with the essential that I should have La Source, that exquisite dream of innocence."
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Re: All together

Post by Bobinwales » Mon May 07, 2018 10:48 pm

Thanks everyone. I must say that I am surprised that it looks as though Trilby is probably the source. That book is one of a very few that have a special place in my library. It is one of only a few that I had to give up reading because it is so awful.
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Re: All together

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon May 07, 2018 11:02 pm

I see... The 'special' kind of 'special'! :D

What did you dislike about it, Bob? (I've never read it, so I'm just curious.)
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Re: All together

Post by tony h » Tue May 08, 2018 4:22 pm

Erik_Kowal wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 11:02 pm
I see... The 'special' kind of 'special'! :D

What did you dislike about it, Bob? (I've never read it, so I'm just curious.)
Bob, I'm with Erik on this. You can't just leave it as "awful" without an explanation!

Erik, time has turned it a few shades darker than it probably was at the time. It was certainly seen by young ladies as a liberating and inspiring novel. Probably one which fathers preferred they didn't read.

The story is of three artistic (gay, in the old sense of carefree) British lads taking a flat in Paris and having the beautiful, guileless Trilby as a neighbour who works part time as an artist's model. The British lads become come protective of her and dislike her relationship with Svengali (a Jewish hypnotist) who uses his craft to entrance her so that she can sing on stage.

It must have some uniqueness as a novel having given us the words: Trilby, Svengali and, as I have just learnt, "the altogether".
For myself I don't do well with novels, I have to work hard to read them through. As a youth, I read Trilby and found the descriptions of the times interesting. The bohemia of Paris, the place in literature of certain the Jews (especially knowing where that would lead in the next century). But more, I found understanding from the Svengali and Trilby relationship as an interesting metaphor for how my head works. It would be another half a century before I would be diagnosed as having Asperger's. And with that I re-read it and found the same parallels.
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Re: All together

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue May 08, 2018 4:29 pm

Thanks for those insights, Tony. :)
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Re: All together

Post by Bobinwales » Tue May 08, 2018 10:46 pm

I simply didn't like the style of writing. I found the same thing with Moby Dick. The stories and the plots are fine, but the writing was simply not to my taste, The Three Musketeers is another bad read, but in all fairness that could well be the translation.
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End of topic.
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