9780415871389

Aesthetic Pleasure in Twentieth-Century Women's Food Writing: The Innovative Appetites of M.F.K. Fisher, Alice B. Toklas, and Elizabeth David

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9780415871389

  • ISBN10:

    0415871387

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-07-27
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Summary

In this study, McLean explores the aesthetic pleasures of eating and writing in the lives of three of the most eloquent food writers of the twentieth-century: M.F.K. Fisher (1908-1992), Alice B. Toklas (1877-1967), and Elizabeth David (1913-1992). Growing up during a time when women's food writing was largely limited to the domestic cookbook, which delineated a track hedged by duty, domesticity, and self-sacrifice, Fisher, Toklas, and David each pioneered an idiosyncratic form of writing that challenged such rigidly gendered and proscriptive bounds. They did so by writing about food as a source of sensual pleasure, both aesthetic and erotic. For these women, food encouraged a sensory engagement with their environment and a physical receptivity toward pleasure that engendered their creative aesthetic. Articulating a language through which female appetite is not only celebrated but also artfully and publicly sated, Fisher, Toklas, and David expanded women's food writing beyond the domestic realm to establish a tradition of British and American culinary literature that celebrates female appetite for pleasure and for culinary adventure. In so doing, they illuminate the power of genre-bending food writing to transgress and reconfigure conventional gender ideologies.

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