Friday, February 25, 2011

Review: "Writing the Meal: Dinner in the Fiction of Early Twentieth-Century Women Writers" (2002)

In Frau Brechenmacher Attends a Wedding,' the bride herself is described as a piece of cake: she wears 'a white dress trimmed with stripes and bows of coloured ribbon, giving her the appearance of an iced cake all ready to be cut and served in neat little pieces to the bridegroom beside her' (706).

Synopsis: Fascinating look at female Modernist writers and disordered eating in fiction.

Throughout the book, the author pushes and pulls against Patricia Moran, who is a seriously big scholar in Modernist Food Disorders, and also happened to be an undergrad professor of mine. McGee loves what Moran has done with Virginia Woolf's fiction, but seems to be quite bitter about her analysis of Katherine Mansfield. And there's this lovely cattiness to the whole interchange that is hella amusing.

I was excited to see that not only does the author whale away at Mansfield and Woolf, who are the standard-bearers of this field, but she also looks at Edith Wharton, Kate Chopin and Zora Neale Hurston, which was refreshing. Elizabeth Bowen didn't make the cut, but you can't have everything.

I'm still waiting for a comparison of male and female Modernists in this area, though.

Huh. Something tells me I'm going to be waiting for quite some time.

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