Reading and Watching
|Environmentally and socially responsible collection.|
Quotes from The Best American Food Writing 2023
"It could have happened sooner, but for decades food writers were actively discouraged from thinking about food as anything other than pleasurable. Those late-twentieth-century food writers could produce all they wanted about continental luxury hotels and their restaurants, about authenticity in Mongolia, about potatoes in Peru, about the mysterious ways of Japan, about the availability of sea urchin by mail, or how a home cook could produce deer—or tofu!—jerky, and so on, but they were for the most part forbidden from treading on the fields of sustainability, environmental pollution (food writers decidedly did not cover Rachel Carson), the decline of nutrition, the horrors of processing or labor: Leave those more serious and less-enchanting and -delightful subjects to your colleagues in Business or Health or Agriculture." (The Best American Food Writing 2023, p. xxi).
From "What Counts as Fresh Food?" by Bee Wilson:
"The great miracle of our modern food system has been to supply us with the freshness of spring all year round—or at least with an approximation of it. ... Our entire food supply is based on the idea of 'fresh' and 'keeping things fresh.' But to keep things fresh is a kind of contradiction or deception, because something can only be truly fresh when it is right out of the ground or just cooked. (p. 19-20)
From "What We Write About When We Write About Food" by Ligaya Mishan:
"Still, when contemporary food writers (and, I suppose, I am one) stray from celebrating flavors to probe the larger issues surrounding the parade of dishes to our tables—exploitation of labor, abuse of animals, climate change, the homogenizing of cuisines and cultures under globalization, systemic injustices that allow millions of people to go hungry each year—some readers complain. Food should not be political, they insist. Food is universal; food unites us. Let us have our cake in peace." (p. 132).
|Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo: new translation.|
"Jorge Luis Borges said it was one of the greatest works of literature ever written. Susan Sontag called it one of the masterpieces of the 20th century. Enrique Vila-Matas has said that it is the 'perfect novel.' Roberto Bolaño’s '2666' would probably not exist without it. The book shows its readers how to read all over again, the same way 'The Waste Land' or 'Ulysses' does, by bending the rules of literature so skillfully, so freely, that the rules must change thereafter."
Just one thing: as I read, I appreciated the numerous brief mentions of birds. These lighten the very dark mood of a town of the dead. Examples —"A roadrunner, señor. That’s what they call those birds." (p. 16) ... "I’d seen the still air shattered by doves flapping their wings as if they were breaking free of the day." (p. 17) ... "I wish I were a vulture so I could fly to where my sister lives." (p. 28)... "Through the hole in the roof, I watched flocks of thrushes pass overhead, those birds that flutter about in the late afternoon just before darkness closes the roads." (p. 62) ... "Returning from its flight around the fields, the mockingbird crossed in front of him and let out an anguished howl." (p. 71) ... "There weren’t any seagulls, only those birds they call 'ugly beaks,' the ones that growl as if they were snoring and then disappear when the sun comes out." (p. 105).
Count me as clueless. But I did finish reading it.
|"Lessons in Chemistry" on Apple TV.|
Very good series!
|Final episode of Great British Baking Show (no photo of finalists -- no spoilers).|
Some review I read said this season was like watching bread rise.
Yes, but it's so soothing!
Time to think about annual donations
|From the Washington Post|
A little color at a grey time of year
|Morning sky as we occasionally see it in winter. Mostly we see only grey clouds. No auroras yet.|