question for the book hungry
"At least she no longer is always asking how the soup is made . . . "
I know the grammar isn't exactly right, but the thought comes in a kind of free indirect discourse (if I remember correctly) and so it's informal like thought, and not grammatically correct. But the actual line flows a little better than that.
And it's an older woman, maybe, passing judgement on a younger woman who is maybe a kind of social climber, or at least just on her way up, maybe not strategically, but has at least learned not ask what's in the food all the time. And the book itself is sort of making fun of this older woman's snobbery, but it's not exactly sympathetic to the she who is learning either.
Now this is fascinating for a number of reasons: It implies that it is (or once upon a time was) rude to ask about what is in a dish, or even discuss it. Particularly at the table, this "at the table" thing I remember getting from context. Is it still impolite to ask what's in the food? I think we've done a 180 on this, no? People are always asking and telling their recipes nowadays, often over the food in question. Or guessing at restaurants. And people with food habits and preferences and allergies and aversions are always asking and sometimes, I know, I know, they really must.
Is this about pleasure, like in MFK Fisher, how she wasn't allowed to enjoy food when she was little? Is it proprietary? Or about propriety? Is it about genius? Or about leisure? Or about how food is supposed to remain unspoken/silent like a muse and other things/conversations are supposed to be inspired by it?
And don't tell me it's from The Group; I could swear it's not. I know that book like the back of my hand. Of course, if you say so, I guess I could read the book this weekend and find the page number.
Categories: food, books