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Editorial Reviews. Review. Amazon Best Books of the Month, November Review. “Adam Gopnik brilliantly weaves together the history.
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Keeping with the theme of taking food public, this volume successfully brings food out of the academy and out of the home. Indeed, as food becomes public, consumers all become activists in the choices we make.

'The Table Comes First': Adam Gopnik on the Meaning of Food - The Atlantic

Reference Counihan, C. Van Esterick eds.

Food and Culture: A Reader. New York: Routledge. This volume draws together his best on the topic along with several new pieces, while a set of open e-mails to s food writer Elizabeth Pennell serves as connective tissue. But the analysis does not remain purely historical.

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Shifting from history to pure conjecture, the book fascinatingly correlates the restaurant to Western brain chemistry—with all its addictions. Tracing cookbooks backward from our contemporary market saturation, the origins of modern food writing are proposed as a set of isolated discursive approaches.

Fisher and others. Yet Gopnik suggests that his Victorian muse, author Elizabeth Pennell, may have been the true pioneer of the modern style. These chapters seem set on tackling the entire gamut of hot-button contemporary food issues: the meaning of taste, the ethics of animal consumption, the value of sustainability. Far-reaching as their Downloaded by [Concordia University Libraries] at 28 December ambitions may be, each begins as a highly-compelling piece of reportage. Donning his journalist hat, Gopnik interacts with passionate activists at the extreme poles of these debates.

But as in the locavore chapter, his ethnographic entry-point into the ethics of meat-eating slips over into a suspiciously neat conclusion to an intricate dilemma: that killing animals for their meat is acceptable so long as the animal lives a relatively happy life.

Taste at the table has drawn a sharp array of study recently, from Korsmeyer to Freedman to Trubek and Lemasson However, the term is later subjected to greater scrutiny via a delectably- woven trajectory that stops by the philosophical contributions of Veblen, Hume, Becker and Rousseau. Taste is labour. Taste is work … a daily negotiation among practices, prices, promises, and possibilities … taste is a fiction, shaped by a time.

The Table Comes First Family, France, and the Meaning of Food

But the fiction is not the barrier to the feeling. Here Gopnik takes stock of a variegated landscape of both food in literature, and literature on food. A food essayist himself, he appears most comfortable in this realm, deftly demarcating via three cases culinary artist Bernard Louiseau, Times critic Ruth Reichl and author-reviewer Downloaded by [Concordia University Libraries] at 28 December Steven A.

Review of "The Table Comes First: family, France, and the Meaning of Food" by Adam Gopnik

Drawing upon a rich fabric of modern and postmodern fiction, he surveys the ways in which food is represented and then playfully and self-reflexively turns the tables, attempting to recreate notable literary dishes. Pleasures of the table and mouth are its primal concerns, yet in this collection of essays it is the pleasure of the text that ultimately prevails.

Criticizing the book for its far-ranging themes and lack of cohesion ultimately does it a disservice. Gopnik is a master essayist.


The chapters of this book are thus best digested as standalone works the way most were originally conceived. Nonetheless, the reader should be wary of misleading titles. That kind of absence has particular consequences. First, it is symptomatic of the way Gopnik sometimes allows his wider theoretical pretensions to become distanced from his compelling on-the-ground narratives.

His eating habits rely upon an abundant food budget, ready access to globe-spanning restaurants and ingredients, and the inheritance of a sophisticated understanding of gastronomical science.

The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food

Offering a voice to other types of everyday eaters might have strengthened his overall message which, after all, is thick with salient insights into the field. Food: The History of Taste. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. Pages can include considerable notes-in pen or highlighter-but the notes cannot obscure the text. Seller Inventory GI5N More information about this seller Contact this seller Condition: As New. An apparently unread copy in perfect condition. Dust cover is intact; pages are clean and are not marred by notes or folds of any kind.

A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition.

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The spine may show signs of wear. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include previous owner inscriptions. Seller Inventory GI3N About this Item: Vintage. Seller Inventory ZZ2. Published by Knopf Canada About this Item: Knopf Canada, Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Seller Inventory GRP Ships from Reno, NV. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Published by Knopf About this Item: Knopf, First Edition. Item added to your basket View basket.

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