By Lisa Angelella
Modernism usually reveled within the lack of regulate, the permeation of private
boundaries, the advent of ambiguity, that evocation of the senses brings approximately. It
strove to loosen the constructions and different types tradition inscribes. during this dissertation, I argue
that nutrients scenes represent the crux of many pivotal moments in Modernist fiction and
express a philosophy of the human topic. Modernists argue that, in consuming, anyone
takes the surface international into him or herself. The senses that precede, imbue and persist with
eating threaten and go beyond the integrity of the topic. I argue that by way of foregrounding
such moments, Modernists posited a phenomenological view of subjectivity, one that
can most sensible be illuminated by means of the paintings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Guided by way of his idea of
intersubjectivity, I discover the phenomenological presentation of specific sensual
encounters with meals within the paintings of Enrest Hemingway, Katherine Mansfield, Virginia
Woolf, James Joyce and Willa Cather. I convey how characters, of their encounters with
sensual otherness, believe themselves conquer in poignant moments of ecstasy, disgust, or
revelation of self-constitution throughout the alimentary. I additionally argue that Modernist fiction
does not just exhibit Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology, but additionally nuances his undying and
placeless presentation of the stumble upon among a common topic and any item, through
considering the sensual consuming adventure inside of a number of old nutrients stipulations, such
as the explosion of the canned foodstuff and the sluggish dissolution of the formal
meal, and from a number of topic positions, in accordance with gender, ethnicity or relative political
empowerment. In attractive phenomenology, my undertaking deviates from the lengthy culture
in scholarship of contemplating symbolic and structural meanings to the occlusion of experience.
In each one consuming scene I discover I think of how gustatory, haptic, and fragrant properties
of nutrients objects—such as liquidness, sweetness, bloodiness and lightness—intervene in
more cerebral human relatives. basic to the attention-grabbing Modernist depictions of
food and consuming, is the concept the senses have an indisputable effect on human affairs in
their personal correct.
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Additional resources for Alimentary Modernism
In the best cases, through their connection to food, characters are able to bond with each other. Here again, I place Mansfield’s phenomenological encounters within food history. I argue that the rise of snack and sweet culture motivated 22 Mansfield’s vision of ecstasy in eating. Whereas the meal is a Victorian rite and imposes social order, characters often experience ecstasy in her works by eating sweets and other foods outside of formal meals. I look at children who express their fantasies through food, a repressed lesbian who can only recognize her own desires through the foods she eats, and a pair of formal intellectuals who secretly love each other, but finding love beneath them, can only express that in the food they eat together.
After the dugout is attacked, Henry is lying wounded in the hospital. ,” Henry responds, “I was blown up while we were eating cheese” (63). Rather than present his protagonist in a heroic feat of dominance, Hemingway depicts him in an act of reception. He is not antagonistically positioned, but engaged in an act of merging. By showing Henry incorporating the earth into himself, Hemingway undermines the extent to which he is even an identifiable target, a unit extractable from the rest of the surrounding earth; he is rather an intersubjective creature.
Necessary to considering specific textural, olfactory, gustatory and sound qualities of food, is the endeavor to think not only more about the body, but more from the perspective of the body—the body’s gestures and perceptions as it encounters the sensations of the food before it. True, particular sensations can become codified and operate as repositories of social meaning and Modernist writers certainly engaged such meanings. As I will discuss in the following chapters, for instance, in early twentieth-century Britain, the bloodiness of meat was associated with men, sweets with women, mess with the Irish.