Ravenous Muse: A Table of Dark and Comic Contents, a Bacchanal of Books

Overview

With The Ravenous Muse, Karen Elizabeth Gordon, the author of The Deluxe Transitive Vampire, has created a brilliant and witty collection of writing about food and literature. A highly original and macabre selection - with a strong Slavic/Balkan flavor - it's an often surreal look at the whimsical and even comical realm of the pleasures and displeasures of the table. Sometimes food plays a provocative role - the inspiration for something else or a spur to the process of creativity itself. In these pieces, ...
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Overview

With The Ravenous Muse, Karen Elizabeth Gordon, the author of The Deluxe Transitive Vampire, has created a brilliant and witty collection of writing about food and literature. A highly original and macabre selection - with a strong Slavic/Balkan flavor - it's an often surreal look at the whimsical and even comical realm of the pleasures and displeasures of the table. Sometimes food plays a provocative role - the inspiration for something else or a spur to the process of creativity itself. In these pieces, everything from olives to toffee is used to evoke emotions, characters, or events. Whether it's Raymond Queneau on the flavors of a Paris bus, Turgenev on cleaning shoes with bread crumbs, Flann O'Brien on voracious bicycles, Julio Cortazar on artichokes and time, a midnight snack with Rossini, George Sand sleepwalking into breakfast, Balzac succumbing to the fatal attraction of his coffeepot, Milorad Pavic on bread, or Dickens describing the strangest dining table man has ever known - or become - the reader will be astonished to see food and its rituals in daring new ways.

From the author of The Deluxe Transitive Vampire comes this delightful collection of writings about food, drink, and the art of eating. Drawing on excerpts from more than 50 writers--Barthes, Balzac, Mandelstam, McPhee, Marquez, and Joyce among them--Gordon gives us a funny, surprising, and wonderfully macabre book.

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Editorial Reviews

Theresa Ducato
This delicious collection of writings about food, drink, and the art of eating makes a mouthwatering feast. The many contributors include Lawrence Durrell, Mikhail Bulgakov, and James Joyce. Anthony Burgess writes that a Parisian dinner is meant to be a single elegant statement, like a well-turned sentence or an outfit from Yves Saint Laurent. The marquis de Sade, in the 1790s, complained bitterly about the food in the Bastille and wrote to his wife requesting, among other things, a dozen cakes and 10 packets of candles. Reading this book is like having tea with the Mad Hatter. Lewis Carroll will tell you where to sit, perhaps Emily Dickinson will serve you cake on eggshell-textured plates, and Paul Klee will wash up the dishes. "The Ravenous Muse" serves up a rich collection of worlds and sensibilities guaranteed to delight any literary food lover.
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A delightful collection of writings about food, drink, and the art of eating, drawing on excerpts from more than 50 writers, including Honor, Balzac, Olga Carlisle, George Sand, Nikolai Gogol, James Joyce, and others. 5 1/4" x 7 1/2".
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517199497
  • Publisher: Random House Value Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/13/1996
  • Series: RHVP-Remainder Ser.
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 248

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