Anka Muhlstein on Food, Balzac and Flaubert

BalzacsOmeletteSentimentalEduWhen he is invited to dinner at Arnoux’s house, Frédéric, the hero of A Sentimental Education, “had to choose between ten mustards. He ate daspachio, curry, ginger, blackbirds from Corsica, lasagna from Rome.” Arnoux, a porcelain manufacturer, is not in possession of a great fortune but prides himself on being a good host. He “cultivated all the mail coach drivers to secure foodstuffs, and had connections with cooks in grand houses, who gave him recipes for sauces.” Like many Parisians, he has no hesitation in spending a great deal of money both at home and in restaurants. The tyranny of the palate has never been described; as a necessity of life it escapes the criticism of literature; yet no one imagines how many have been ruined by the table. The luxury of the table is indeed, in a sense, the courtesan’s one competitor in Paris,” says Balzac in Cousin Pons.

Balzac’s Omelette by Anka Muhlstein

CousinPons

 

Fans of Balzac, please visit the collaborative blog La Comedie Humaine.

 

 

Free Time Fridays – August 29, 2014

LadyReadingFTFFree Time Fridays is a weekly meme created and hosted by eatupmyfreetime.

On Fridays we will recap how we spent our free time during the week + our plans for the weekend! ie. Did you read? If so, what books? Did you shop? Listen to any cool tunes? Binge watch any cool TV shows? Take any trips lately? I want to hear all about it! You can either mention ALL of the ways you spent your free time that week or focus on one activity. Whatever your heart desires!

 

My free time this week was spent reading (as it should be!) and catching up on some odds and ends. I needed to get as much as possible done because, with two group reads starting soon, the next two weeks will be busy. I’m looking forward to them.

Katia2

 

The discussion of Katia aka Family Happiness by Leo Tolstoy begins Sunday at the 19th Century Literature group.

 

BalzacsOmelette

 
 

The discussion of Balzac’s Omelette by Anka Muhlstein begins Monday at the French Literature group.

 

 

Anyone interested in either of these two books is welcome to join us.

 

That pretty much sums up my free time (so-called) for this past week. It’s your turn now. How did you spend your free time this week or what are you looking forward to this weekend?