Afrodita: Cuentos, recetas y otros afrodisiacos (Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses)

Overview

"Me apprepiento de los platos deliciosos rechazados por vanidad, tanto como lamento las ocasiones de hacer el amor que he dejado pasar por ocuparme de tareas pendientes o por virtud puritana",ya que "la sexualidad es un componente de la buena salud, inspira la creacion y es parte del camino del alma. . .Por desgracia, me demoré treinta años en descubrirlo".

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Overview

"Me apprepiento de los platos deliciosos rechazados por vanidad, tanto como lamento las ocasiones de hacer el amor que he dejado pasar por ocuparme de tareas pendientes o por virtud puritana",ya que "la sexualidad es un componente de la buena salud, inspira la creacion y es parte del camino del alma. . .Por desgracia, me demoré treinta años en descubrirlo".

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sex and food, once celebrated as two of life's great joys, suffer a lot of bad press these days. Genuine epidemics, coupled with monthly findings of new things that are bad for us, have pushed otherwise happy souls into programs of agonizing denial and, in severe instances, abstinence. Thankfully, in this sophisticated defense of pleasure, novelist Allende The House of the Spirits puts the joy back into eating and loving with all the panache that marks the best of her fiction. Though passionate about her subject, she remains consistently whimsical with this mix of anecdotes, recipes and advice designed to enhance any romantic encounter. As always, her secret weapon is honesty: "Some [aphrodisiacs] have a scientific basis, but most are activated by the imagination." Allende's vivacity and wit are in full bloom as she makes her pronouncements: "There are few virtues a man can possess more erotic than culinary skill"; "When you make an omelet, as when you make love, affection counts for more than technique." Her book is filled with succinct wisdom and big laughs. Despite sections titled "The Orgy" and "Supreme Stimulus for Lechery," Allende comes down emphatically for romance over sex and for ritual over flavor in a work that succeeds in being what it intends to befun from the first nibble to the last. (Apr.)
Leslie Chess Feller
In Aphrodite, Allende turns the joyous preparation and consumption of fine food into an erotic catalyst; it culminates in a collection of serious recipes for your first - or next - bacchanal....Although Allende mentions exotica like shark fins, baboon testicles, eye of salamander and the urine of a virgin, her recipes use ingredients that "can be ingested without peril." --Leslie Chess Feller, The New York Times Book Review
The Washington Post
Like a slow, seductive lover, Allende teases, tempts and titillates with mesmerizing stories and legends about gluttony -- sexual and otherwise. -- The Washington Post
Kirkus Reviews
An elegant grandmother ponders the erotic side of food and the most delicious aspects of eros. The noted Chilean novelist Allende The House of the Spirits, 1985; Paula, 1995; etc. now lives in San Francisco. One day she put on dark sunglasses and a brassy wig and went down to a big porno shop in order to begin research for this "memoir." However, it's not a memoir in the usual sense; the graceful Allende doesn't kiss and tell. She is never crude or exhibitionistic, and she does not seek to shock her gentle readers. She aims to amuse, to titillate, and to entertain us with the lore of food and sex, a few choice morsels from her own experience and fantasy life, and occasionally to advise aspiring seducers and seductresses. This volume—part memoir, part research project, part cookbook—seeks above all to charm the pants off us, literally. And Allende has this ability. The tone of her prose is persuasively warm and inviting, but also down-to-earth: "The shells of oysters, those seductive tears of the sea, which lend themselves to slipping from mouth to mouth like a prolonged kiss, are hell to open. They can be purchased in bottles, but there they look like malignant tumors; in contrast, moist and turgid in their shells they suggest delicate vulvae." The tales and anecdotes she offers whet the appetites; and her tidbits of erotic lore are food at least for thought, and perhaps more. In addition, there are many recipes for sensual cooks, provided by her aged mother, Panchita Llona, and by the novelist's Spanish agent, Carmen Balcells. Illustrations, tastefully sensual, are provided by Robert Schechter. Peden's translation has verve and immediacy. Allende's "eroticmeanderings" give pleasure. She has a sure sense of the delicate relations between eros and writing. Her tact amplifies the eros that pornography kills.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060930080
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Language: Spanish
  • Series: Harper Perennial
  • Edition description: Spanish-language Edition
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 428,426
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Isabel Allende is the bestselling author of twelve works of fiction, four memoirs, and three young-adult novels, which have been translated into more than thirty-five languages with sales in excess of fifty-seven million copies. She is the author most recently of the bestsellers Maya's Notebook, Island Beneath the Sea, Inés of My Soul, Portrait in Sepia, and Daughter of Fortune. In 2004 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She received the Hans Christian Andersen Literary Award in 2012. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, she lives in California.

Biography

In Isabel Allende's books, human beings do not exist merely in the three-dimensional sense. They can exert themselves as memory, as destiny, as spirits without form, as fairy tales. Just as the more mystical elements of Allende's past have shaped her work, so has the hard-bitten reality. Working as a journalist in Chile, Allende was forced to flee the country with her family after her uncle, President Salvador Allende, was killed in a coup in 1973.

Out of letters to family back in Chile came the manuscript that was to become Allende's first novel. Her arrival on the publishing scene in 1985 with The House of the Spirits was instantly recognized as a literary event. The New York Times called it "a unique achievement, both personal witness and possible allegory of the past, present and future of Latin America."

To read a book by Allende is to believe in (or be persuaded of) the power of transcendence, spiritual and otherwise. Her characters are often what she calls "marginal," those who strive to live on the fringes of society. It may be someone like Of Love and Shadows 's Hipolito Ranquileo, who makes his living as a circus clown; or Eva Luna, a poor orphan who is the center of two Allende books (Eva Luna and The Stories of Eva Luna).

Allende's characters have in common an inner fortitude that proves stronger than their adversity, and a sense of lineage that propels them both forward and backward. When you meet a central character in an Allende novel, be prepared to meet a few generations of his or her family. This multigenerational thread drives The House of the Spirits, the tale of the South American Trueba family. Not only did the novel draw Allende critical accolades (with such breathless raves as "spectacular," "astonishing" and "mesmerizing" from major reviewers), it landed her firmly in the magic realist tradition of predecessor (and acknowledged influence) Gabriel García Márquez. Some of its characters also reappeared in the historical novels Portrait in Sepia and Daughter of Fortune.

"It's strange that my work has been classified as magic realism," Allende has said, "because I see my novels as just being realistic literature." Indeed, much of what might be considered "magic" to others is real to Allende, who based the character Clara del Valle in The House of the Spirits on her own reputedly clairvoyant grandmother. And she has drawn as well upon the political violence that visited her life: Of Love and Shadows (1987) centers on a political crime in Chile, and other Allende books allude to the ideological divisions that affected the author so critically.

But all of her other work was "rehearsal," says Allende, for what she considers her most difficult and personal book. Paula is written for Allende's daughter, who died in 1992 after several months in a coma. Like Allende's fiction, it tells Paula's story through that of Allende's own and of her relatives. Allende again departed from fiction in Aphrodite, a book that pays homage to the romantic powers of food (complete with recipes for two such as "Reconciliation Soup"). The book's lighthearted subject matter had to have been a necessity for Allende, who could not write for nearly three years after the draining experience of writing Paula.

Whichever side of reality she is on, Allende's voice is unfailingly romantic and life-affirming, creating mystery even as she uncloaks it. Like a character in Of Love and Shadows, Allende tells "stories of her own invention whose aim [is] to ease suffering and make time pass more quickly," and she succeeds.

Good To Know

Allende has said that the character of Gregory Reeves in The Infinite Plan is based on her husband, Willie Gordon.

Allende begins all of her books on January 8, which she considers lucky because it was the day she began writing a letter to her dying grandfather that later became The House of the Spirits.

She began her career as a journalist, editing the magazine Paula and later contributing to the Venezuelan paper El Nacional.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Me arrepiento de las dietas, de los platos deliciosos rechazados por vanidad, tanto como lamento las ocasiones de hacer el amor que he dejado pasar por ocuparme de tareas pendientes o por virtud puritana. Paseando por los jardines de la memoria, descubro que mis recuerdos estánasociados a los sentidos. Mi tia Teresa, la que se fue transformando en ángel y murió con embriones de alas en los hombros, está liga da para siempre al olor de las pastillas de violeta. Cuando esa dama encantadora aparecia de visita, con su vestido gris discretamente iluminado por un cuello de encaje y su cabeza de reina coronada de nieve, los niñs corríamos a su encuentro y ella abr&#237a con gestos rituales su vieja cartera, siempre la misma, extraía una pequeña caja de lata pintada y nos daba un caramelo color malva. Y desde entonces, cada vez que el aroma inconfundible de violetas se insinúa en el aire, la imagen de esa tia santa, que robaba flores de los jardines ajenos para llevar a los moribundos del hospicio, vuelve intacta a mi alma. Cuarenta años más tarde supe que ée era el sello de Josefina Bonaparte, quien confiaba ciegamente en el poder afrodisíaco de aquel huidizo aroma que tan pronto asalta con una intensidad casi nauseabunda, como desaparece sin dejar trazos para regresar enseguida con renovado ardor. Las cortesanas de la antigua Grecia lo usaban antes de cada encuentro amoroso para perfumar el aliento y las zonas erógenas, porque mezclado con el olor natural de la transpiración y las secreciones femeninas, alivia la melancolía de los más viejos y sacude de modo insoportable elespíritu de los hombres jóvenes. En el Tantra, filosofía mística y espiritual que exalta la union de los opuestos en todos los planos, desde el cósmico hasta el más ínfimo, y en la cual el hombre y la mujer son espejos de energías divinas, violeta es el color de la sexualidad femenina, por eso lo han adoptado algunos movimientos feministas.

El olor penetrante del yodo no me trae imágenes de cortaduras o cirugias, sino de crizos, esas extrañias criaturas del mar inevitablemente relacionadas con mi iniciación al misterio de los sentidos. Tenáa yo ocho años cuando la mano ruda de un pescador puso una lengua de erizo en mi boca. Cuando visito Chile, busco la oportunidad de ir a la costa a probar de nuevo erizos recién extraídos del mar, v cada vez me abruma la misma mezcla de terror y fascinación que sentí durante aquel primer encuentro &#236ntimo con un hombre. Los crizos son inseparables para nu de ese pesca

dor, su bolsa oscura de mariscos chorreando agua de mar y mi despertar a la ersensualidad. Es así como recuerdo a los hombres que han pasado por da -no deseo presumir, no son muchos- unos por la textura de su piel, otros por el sabor de sus besos, el olor de sus ropas o el tono de sus murmullos, y casi todos

ellos asociados con algún alimento especial. El placer carnal más intenso, gozado sin apuro en una cama desordenada v clandestina, combinación perfecta de caricias, risa y juegos de la mente, tiene gusto a baguette, prosciutto, queso francós v vino del Rhin. Con cualquiera de estos tesoros de la cocina surge ante mí un hombre en particular, un antiguo amante que vuelve persistente, como un fantasma querido, a poner cierta luz traviesa en mi edad madura. Ese pan con jamón v queso me devuelve el olor de nuestros abrazos y ese vino alemán, el sabor cle su boca. No puedo separar el crotismo de la comida y no veo razón para hacerlo, al contrario, pretendo seguir disfrutando de ambos mientras las fuerzas y el buen humor me alcancen. De allí viene la idea de este libro, que es un viaje sin mapa por las regiones de la memoria sensual, donde los límites entre el amor y el apetito son tan difusos, que a veces se me pierden del todo.

justificar una colección más de rccetas de cocina o de instrucciones er&#243ticas no es fácil. Cada aóo se publican miles y francamente no se, quién las compra, porque aún no conozco quien cocine o haga el amor con un manual. La gente clue sc gana la vida con esfuerzo v reza a escondidas, como usted v como yo, improvisamos con las cacerolas v entre las sábanas lo mejor posible, aprovechando lo que hay a mano, sin pensarlo mucho y sin grandes aspavientos, agradecidos de los dientes que nos quedan y de la suerte inmensa de tener a quien abrazar. ¿Por qué entonces este libro? Porque la idea de averiguar sobre afrodisíacos me parece divertida y espero que para usted tambión lo sea. En estas páginas intento aproximarme a la verdad, pero no siempre es posible. ¿Qué se puede decir, por ejemplo, del perejil? A veces hay que inventar...

Por tiempos inmemoriales la humaniclad ha recurrido a sustancias, trucos, actos de magia y juegos, que la gente scria y virtuosa se apresura en clasificar como perversiones, para estimular el deseo amoroso y la fertilidad. Esto ú1timo no nos interesa aquí va hay demasiados niños ajenos en el mundo, vamos a concentrarnos en el placer. En un libro sobre magia

Afrodita. Copyright © by Isabel Allende. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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