"Camporesi is as much a poet as a historian. . . . His appeal is to the senses as well as to the mind. . . . Fascinating in its details and compelling in its overall message." --Vivian Nutton, Times Literary Supplement
"It is not often that an academic monograph in history is also a book to fascinate the discriminating general reader. Bread of Dreams is just that." --Kenneth McNaught, Toronto Star
"Not religion but bread was the opiate of the poor, Mr. Camporesi argues. . . . Food has always been a social and mythological construct that conditions what we vainly imagine to be matters of personal taste. Our hunger for such works should tell us that food is not only good but essential to think and to read as if our lives depended on it, which they do." --Betty Fussell, New York Times Book Review
Piero Camporesi is professor of Italian literature at the University of Bologna. He is the author of numerous works including La Casa Dell'Eternita and La Carne Impassabile (published in English translation as The Incorruptible Flesh.
|Publisher:||University of Chicago Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)|
Table of Contents
Preface by Roy Porter
1. The 'Disease of Wretchedness'
2. Elusive Bread
3. Sacred and Profane Cannibalism
4. 'They Set Out into the World of the Vagabond'
5. 'They Rotted in Their Own Dung'
6. The World Turned Upside Down
7. 'Famine of Living' and 'Times of Suspicion'
9. Ritual Battles and Popular Frenzies
10. Medicinia Pauperum
11. 'Tightness of Purse'
12. Collective Vertigo
13. Hyperbolic Dreams
14. Artificial Paradises
15. Poppyseed Bread
16. The 'Fickle and Verminuous Colony'
17. Putrid Worms and Vile Snails
18. A City of Mummies
19. The Triumph of Poverty
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book could should point as a salutory lesson to the modern Western cult of conspicuous consumption. Camporesi's erudite study reminds us that the majority of the medieval population of Europe was often teetering on the edge of starvation and this made a huge impact on the art, culture, politics and literature of the era. The prose is often a little hard to follow, but this may be due to the translation from the original Italian.