Let’s come back to the act of dining. Already in the Gilgamesh epic, we find more or less detailed descriptions of the food, so Balzac does not reinvent gastropoetics, he simply puts it in a different, very meaningful context. Not addressed further before, because readers also do not want it, dining scenes in times of realism and naturalism are becoming increasingly important for literary work. Make a visit to https://cristalcellar.com/ for the perfect solutions there now.
The Obvious Options
It seems so obvious that one would not have to address it: Of course, descriptions of meals also offer the author room for metaphor, such as clothing or other outward appearances of people, rooms or pictures of nature. On the one hand, they lend the story told more plastic and thus give the reader a very detailed picture, on the other hand, food also has connotations that can be transferred: the soup and the dry bread of the poor, the sumptuous banquet with meat and fruit platters of the rich, the comparison of one beautiful woman with fruit (appetizing curves, etc.).
- If a writer wants to emphasize a figure, let’s take a female person – he will put on a ‘red dress’, for example, to emphasize her conspicuity. The reader has evoked a direct image in the head, he can well imagine the woman in her striking red dress. The choice of the red dress is linked to the fictional character and thus allows conclusions to be drawn, for example, about personal characteristics. Under certain circumstances, the woman could be considered arrogant, haughty or even passionate and scheming.
Applied to the descriptions of dishes and their ‘incorporation’, this means that on the one hand, the dishes served with their evoked associations (see above) outline the surroundings of the figures, but on the other hand, also indicate the eating behavior of the people to their peculiarities and types.
We get to know slow and deliberate eaters that we might think are gourmets, on the other hand, there is the hasty devourer who only grants the aspect of energy supply to the meal. And he is not alone in this: for a long time, no great importance was attached to food, it was a necessary evil that survival was ensured.
This reduction of food to mere food intake is partly due to our western culture, which feminizes cooking and to a certain extent displaces it behind the stove. Harald Lemke speaks of a “Devaluation of food”, which has no place in the patriarchal world. Bernhard Waldenfels also sees a “disregard for food and drink”, which results from the equation” with processes of food supply, digestion and excretion ” and Ludwig Feuerbach already recognized that people with their stomachs (quite biologically / physiologically considered) are given a very good tool with which they are able to largely determine and select their meals themselves:
“The stomach of man, as contemptuously we look down on him, is not an animal, but human, because it is a universal being, not restricted to certain types of food.”
Of course, it must be mentioned here that the choice of food is always influenced by external factors such as the supply of raw materials or financial capacities of the user, as well as internal factors, such as intolerance or individual dislikes.