Food for Thought
A wicked queen orders the palace cook to kill her grandchildren and serve them up for dinner—"in a sauce Robert." But as any good cook knows, this sauce is properly served with game, not domestic animals. Does the ogress transgress? Perhaps, but the cook breaks the rules as well. Deceiving his mistress, he rescues the children and instead serves goat and lamb.
In this provocative volume, Louis Marin treats a subject to which some of the most exciting literary criticism has been devoted: the body as represented in text and image. From fairy tales to biblical narrative, from the divine body in the eucharist to the body of Louis XIV as described in his physicians' journals, Marin focuses on the peculiar relationship between verbal and oral functions—speaking and eating, boasting and gluttony, lying and cannibalism. Drawing on the methodologies of semiology, philosophy of language, and literary and art criticism, Marin explores works by Rabelais, La Fontaine, Perrault, and the Logic of Port-Royal. Throughout, he is concerned with the conceptualization of desire and pleasure, justice and force, natural violence and political power—and questions their ideological as well as their symbolic bases.
About the Authors
Louis Marin was director of studies at the École des Haute Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris and an associate of the Humanities Center at the Johns Hopkins University until his death in 1992. His many books include The Portrait of the King and La voix excommuniée: Essais de memoire.
The leitmotif of this book is the way in which... the sacramental eating of Christ's body is performed through the grammar of the sentence... Marin's admiration for the word made flesh, and hence the word made power, is what makes this book both fascinating and disturbing.
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