X & Y
Not for nothing do we speak of “naked” poverty.
The worst, the most dreadful aspect of such
exposure, which gained currency under the
law of necessity but which nevertheless reveals
only a thousandth part of what remains hidden,
is not pity or the equally grim sense of his own
impassivity that it evokes in the observer but the
sheer shame of it. One cannot live in a German city
where hunger obliges the poorest to exist on the
pretense with which passers-by seek to cover a
nakedness they find wounding.
One-Way Street, 1928
(Walter Benjamin, One-Way Street and Other Writings, Penguin Books, Modern Classics, 2008)