Table of contents:
- Alice's tea in Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
- Turkish delight from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia) by CS Lewis
- Watery Porridge by Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
- Sanchocho, Love in the time of cholera, Gabriel Garçia Marquez
- The madeleines from In Search of Lost Time, Marcel Proust
- Crab Salad Stuffed Avocado, Sylvia Plath's Bell Jar
- Shirley Temple's cup of milk in Toni Morrison's The Blueest Eye
- Goldilocks and the Three Bears porridge, by the Brothers Grimm
- Offal and buttered bread in Ulysses, James Joyce
- Jane Eyre's Meat and Vegetable Pie, Charlotte Bronte
- The dry bread of I Miserabili, Victor Hugo
- Daube alla Provencale, Trip to the lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
- Food gone bad in The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
- Clam chovder or Moby Dick clam chowder, Herman Melville
- The Little Red Riding Hood basket
- Heidi's cheese, Johanna Spyri
Video: Look: Proust's madeleine was like that
2023 Author: Cody Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 19:13
Let's face it. For us, passionate readers and writers of food, admirers of good food in all forms, one of the most welcome points when reading a book is when the narrator gets lost in the description of convivial moments around laden tables, or when he describes the dishes loved by the characters with a rich list of ingredients and personal sensations.
And if not all of us have had the (un) good fortune to syrup the entire "A la recherche du temps perdu" by Proust, we know by heart the popular passage regarding the sweets of his childhood, the madeleines, due to the writer's nostalgic languors.
Even the French photographer Charles Roux must have often paused to imagine these "literary meals", so much so that he decided to move from simple imagination to more concrete material representation, arranging photographic sets that reproduce the most famous foods of world literature, but above all, trying to instill atmosphere and setting, to transport us with a simple image in the heart of the work.
The images have therefore been collected in the book "Fictitious Feasts", we offer them below certain that a glance will be enough to feel transported into the magical literary atmospheres, even though you may have never (fortunately) read neither Proust nor Joy there is
Alice's tea in Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
"It's always tea time!"
The one above is probably one of the most famous quotes from the adventures of the naive Alice in Wonderland, the most popular work of the writer of Lewis Carrol.
In the passage in question, Alice tastes her tea in the company of the Mad Hatter and the March Hare, and the photographer recreates the fairytale scenario with a setting between the shabby chic of the tea set and tablecloth and the food porn of glazed sweets and caramelized.
Turkish delight from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia) by CS Lewis
“Each of those sweets was simply perfect: clear and transparent under the veil of sugar, light, chewy the right and very sweet”. The wonder we are talking about in "The Chronicles of Narnia", by CS Lewis, is the lokum, a typical Arabic dessert made up of sugar made solid by a little starch with a pleasant flavoring based on vanilla, ginger or pistachio. Roux interprets it this way
Watery Porridge by Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
The real, sad condition of orphaned children in England narrated by Dickens in his books is perfectly summarized by the meals intended for them in the institutions where they were housed, with meager rations prepared with even more meager ingredients, absolutely not enough for a small guest "with a hunger as great as his misery ". The "watery porridge" - a simple mixture of flour and water of dubious origin - is masterfully rendered by Roux with essential images and extensive use of dark shades.
Sanchocho, Love in the time of cholera, Gabriel Garçia Marquez
The rite of sanchocho, a typical dish of South America and above all Dominican, brings with it a saving aura: in Marquez's novel the boiling pot of boneless chicken, pork, beef, plantains (Brazilian fruits similar to bananas) in rounds, boiled potatoes and corn. A hearty meal to get back in perfect shape.
The madeleines from In Search of Lost Time, Marcel Proust
And here it is, the most famous and popular food of all world literature of all time: the famous madeleines of Proust's childhood, which the author can enjoy placidly while, sipping his tea, thinks back to the times when, still little boy, he tasted the delicious sweets on Sundays after mass. In reality, in the first draft, the author spoke of a simple "pain grillè", a sort of simple toast, replaced in the second draft with a sort of biscuit to then land, in the third revision, the very famous madeleines, which owe the most of their diffusion and popularity precisely to this last draft.
Crab Salad Stuffed Avocado, Sylvia Plath's Bell Jar
Food as an escape. In "The Glass Bell", by Sylvia Plath, the protagonist escapes from the suffocating bourgeois climate in which she finds herself immersed also thanks to the childhood memories that the simple sight of an avocado is able to give her, recalling her dear grandfather who taught her to savor the rich fruit with the delicate crab meat.
Shirley Temple's cup of milk in Toni Morrison's The Blueest Eye
Little Shirley Temple, with her golden ringlets and her sea-blue eyes peeking out of a large cup of milky white, is, for the protagonist of Toni Morrison's novel "The bluest eye", the African American Pecola Breedlove, the symbol of what is purest and most socially acceptable in the collective imagination in Canada in the 70s; a symbol of normality and social acceptance for which it yearns with all its strength.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears porridge, by the Brothers Grimm
How many of us have wondered what exactly corresponds to the porridge that Goldilocks, in the tale of the Brothers Grimm, had found in the three bowls in the little house in the woods? Well, for those who have not yet learned that the famous porridge is nothing more than a typical Anglo-Saxon dish, sweet or salty, based on flour, Charles Roux gives a clear and comprehensive representation.
Offal and buttered bread in Ulysses, James Joyce
Liver, kidney, sausages, black puddings, onions and above all the beloved entrails of birds: Mr. Bloom, the protagonist of Joyce's most famous novel, Ulysses, was amused with gargantuan dinners accompanied, to lighten everything, from hot tea and fragrant bread buttered. Masterfully represented by Roux.
Jane Eyre's Meat and Vegetable Pie, Charlotte Bronte
The bad taste of the meat pie eaten in boarding school by little Jane Eyre in the novel of the same name by Charlotte Bronte is indelibly imprinted in the memory of the protagonist, who remembers it with unchanged disgust. Roux sweetens these memories with a pleasant and reassuring image.
The dry bread of I Miserabili, Victor Hugo
No food better combines with the title of Victor Hugo's famous novel than the classic piece of dry bread, rarely washed down with a sip of rancid brandy.
Daube alla Provencale, Trip to the lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
Food is a constant in Virginia Woolf's literary production. In “Trip to the lighthouse”, the daube prepared by Mrs. Ramsay is a typical, tasty stew made with beef and vegetables.
Food gone bad in The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
The food thrown by family members into Gregor Samsa's squalid room, who woke up a cockroach overnight and an evident symbol of malaise and rejection of the dull surrounding environment, is stale, rotten, spoiled food. Like the environment it comes from.
Clam chovder or Moby Dick clam chowder, Herman Melville
Even while pursuing your ideals, you still need to nourish yourself. Captain Ahab, the protagonist of Melville's novel, while hunting his white whale, feeds on a classic among the sailors of the coastal cities of the USA: the "clam chovder", an excellent soup of fresh mussels.
The Little Red Riding Hood basket
What could possibly be in Little Red Riding Hood's basket while he goes to visit his grandmother, if not the classic toast and jam? In this way Roux interprets the food of the most classic of fairy tales.
Heidi's cheese, Johanna Spyri
A little house in the woods, a little girl, her grandfather. And some good, fresh goat's milk that the dear old grandfather lovingly transforms into good cheese for his lively granddaughter. Who wouldn't want to taste food prepared with so much love?
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