Sarah Moss

in Spilling the Beans

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780719076510
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702710 | DOI:

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This introductory chapter discusses the possible ways one might understand food in literary texts, the first of which is as a manifestation of love, or a confirmation that the eater is deserving. The second is developed from social contract theories of the eighteenth century via Karl Marx, and understands food as a basis of economics, and the basic reason why people labour. The chapter then describes food as an object and a process, one that possesses power and is part of a performance, and thereafter examines the foodways of the Romantic era, presenting an understanding of the politics of the table. It also discusses greed, the use of food to mark tribal and regional identities, and the dynamics of self-starvation.

Keywords: food; literary texts; manifestation of love; social contract theories; Karl Marx; foodways; Romantic era; politics of table; identities; self-starvation

Chapter.  18538 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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