The Ambiguity of Taste: Freedom and Food in European Romanticism

The Ambiguity of Taste: Freedom and Food in European Romanticism

by Jocelyne Kolb
     
 

ISBN-10: 047210554X

ISBN-13: 9780472105540

Pub. Date: 08/01/1995

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

Between the political revolutions of 1789 and 1848 no other subject so directly challenged the notion of "good taste" in literature as food. To be "in good taste," a work of the high style excluded references to literal taste; culinary allusions in tragedy and lyric poetry therefore represented an ironic attack on literary decorum and a liberation from the

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Overview

Between the political revolutions of 1789 and 1848 no other subject so directly challenged the notion of "good taste" in literature as food. To be "in good taste," a work of the high style excluded references to literal taste; culinary allusions in tragedy and lyric poetry therefore represented an ironic attack on literary decorum and a liberation from the constraints of figurative taste.

In The Ambiguity of Taste, Jocelyne Kolb attempts to define changes in genre and metaphorical usage by undertaking close readings of six authors. She looks first at Molière and Fielding, whose culinary allusions herald poetic revolution but whose works do not themselves escape the limits of a neoclassical aesthetic. Byron and Heine, known as renegades, are treated in separate chapters and in the greatest detail. The penultimate chapter joins Goethe and Hugo as champions of poetic freedom, and in the final chapter Kolb briefly considers Thomas Mann and Proust, whose works display the gains of poetic revolution.

This book will be savored by students of comparative literature and European Romanticism. Its accessible style will tempt nonspecialists and food enthusiasts as well.

Jocelyne Kolb is Professor of German Studies, Smith College. This book was the winner of the 1995 American Conference on Romanticism Book Prize.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780472105540
Publisher:
University of Michigan Press
Publication date:
08/01/1995
Pages:
360
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction1
1The Poetics of Ambiguous Taste11
2Real Taste or True Taste: Moliere's Les Femmes savantes and Fielding's Tom Jones25
3Byron's Don Juan, or Four and Twenty Blackbirds in a Pie55
4Heine and the Aesthetics of the Tea Table115
5Goethe and Hugo: The License of Taste225
Conclusion: The Effects of Poetic Revolution: From Ambiguous to Symbolist Taste291
Notes303
Bibliography329
Index339

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