Food and Pleasure in Modern American Literature [article]

(:Unkn) Unknown, University, My, Miles Orvell
2020
Food and Pleasure in Modern American Literature is a study of the dynamics of pleasure in literary scenes of food, eating, and hungering in American poetry and novels from the early 20th century to the present. From infamous poetic instances of plums and memorialized moveable feasts in the early twentieth century to present-day preoccupations with overdetermined foods and bodies, food scenes in literature help develop character, play out cultural or social dynamics, or dramatize appetite and
more » ... ire. In many instances, pleasure (or its absence) is what gives such scenes weight and dimension. I apply tools and concepts from both structuralism and phenomenology to explore the tensions between seemingly opposing ideas introduced in food-focused texts, which have been selected from a broad range of genres and eras. Chapters 2 through 6 focus specifically on poetry, which offers the opportunity to explore specific structuralist and phenomenological concepts within the space of a few lines, for closer attention. Chapters 7 through 10 examine fiction and non-fiction prose at lengths which permit many more layers of conflict and desire in regard to food and pleasure. The culminating chapters examine contemporary food writing and recent novels that shed light on the food issues of the present day.
doi:10.34944/dspace/2738 fatcat:uo2owew6ivhcles2dx6crmz3p4