The Rituals of Dinner: Visser, Margaret (Anglais) Broché – 1 juillet 1992
- Choisissez parmi 17 000 points de collecte en France
- Les membres du programme Amazon Premium bénéficient de livraison gratuites illimitées
- Trouvez votre point de collecte et ajoutez-le à votre carnet d’adresses
- Sélectionnez cette adresse lors de votre commande
Les clients ayant acheté cet article ont également acheté
Descriptions du produit
Présentation de l'éditeur
"Read this book. You'll never look at a table knife the same way again."—The New York Times.
Aucun appareil Kindle n'est requis. Téléchargez l'une des applis Kindle gratuites et commencez à lire les livres Kindle sur votre smartphone, tablette ou ordinateur.
Pour obtenir l'appli gratuite, saisissez votre numéro de téléphone mobile.
Détails sur le produit
Commentaires en ligne
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
The author devotes the first couple of chapters to our acculturation, drawing lessons from how monkeys learn to wash potatoes. She points out that children are "brought up," a passive construction, and taught the norms of social behavior. For some small segments of society, it is a never ending process; there "manners" are what set them apart from others, and re-enforce their power; others continue to try to break into society (p 69). Power relations surrounding food are just one of the recurring themes in this book. Consider: "In the modern world, where openly stratified hierarchy is an affront to the egalitarian myth, people are rarely permitted to display naked social ambition; snobbery must go decently disguised as creativity, free choice, good taste, and so forth. (p. 100). In the postscript she ruminates on the concept of "no time" in society today, and says: "Powerful people love impressing upon those needing their services that they have trouble finding time `to fit them in': making others wait because one's own time is more precious than theirs is one of the great hallmarks of desirability and success (p. 353)."
Visser's book is also an etymological discourse; time and time again she explains the origins, as well as the associated connotations of words, such as the Latin word for a hearth or fireplace, which is "focus." She includes numerous wry observations, such as: "A Freudian analysis of the knife, fork, and spoon gives the spoon the female role in the trio; the fork, if I understand the writer correctly, is the male child of the knife and the spoon, and, like a little Oedipus, resentful of the knife, and jealous of the spoon.) She even worked in the old quip about a certain insouciance towards formal manners, with the proverbial Canadian waitress advising British royalty: "Keep you fork, Duke, there's pie."
Usually serious, but occasionally light-hearted, there are ample conversation starters for a decade's worth of dinner parties, and may even help you win at "Jeopardy," as one reviewer noted. I also noted that two reviewers indicated serious mistakes in this book, one concerning Chinese meals, the other Jewish holidays. That may be so; it would be surprising given the scope of this book, and hopefully the author would comment on these assertions. I found none, however, and remain grateful for this scholarly view of one of life's most important rituals. I note that she has recently published a book about an equally important ritual, concerning our ability to say "Thank you," entitled: "The Gift of Thanks," and would consider that book to be important, based on her work in this one. A solid 5-star effort.
I started reading a few paragraphs in the introduction to my family on a road trip, and it took about two miles to wade through one. Admittedly, we were on the freeway... but the writing was nowhere near as clear as the previous book I read.
As others have noted, this book is chock full of trivia... which may or may not be accurate. The research is referenced, to be sure - close to 80 pages of references in the back.
What struck me, though, was the chaotic writing style of this book. It was stream of consciousness taken to an extreme. Constant digressions were the norm, you'd be talking about table manners of an African tribe in one paragraph (and wanting to read more) and the next you were reading about something completely disconnected, yet she was attempting to show how they were related... usually failing in the attempt. Whoever edited this, if it WAS edited and this IS the result, must have had one heck of a job getting it as coherent as it is. (Which is really not saying terribly much...)
I can't recommend this book, sorry. The two stars is because it really IS very diligently (if not carefully) researched. It is full of interesting material and factoids, but it's so badly presented and poorly organized that it's one of those books you keep in the bathroom. You can dip into it for a few minutes when you're otherwise preoccupied - and by the time the author changes the subject, you're done until next time.
And somehow, I don't think it was her intent to create a specialized book like that...
A nice change of pace and wonderful book. Her other book Much Depends on Dinner: The Extraordinary History and Mythology, Allure and Obsessions, Perils and Taboos of an Ordinary Meal is another fun and eye-opening view of where some of our choices derive. Both books are like a scrumptious dessert at the end of a feast!
But, is this the information that you seek? I was looking for a book that went into more detail than Amy Vanderbilt in the proper placement and use of dishes, utensils and glassware. I wanted to know the difference between a 'rim soup' bowl and a 'cream soup' bowl, and which spoon goes with which dish as well as which type of soup. Although some of this book was fascinating reading, it didn't really answer my questions. Well, maybe some of them, but you have to research and work at finding any guidelines. Visser insists that you learn the why and history of a ritual before letting you in on it's current practical use, and how it may be applied.
If you are not a museum curator and just want to set a proper table, I suggest you turn to "The Art of the Table" by Susanne Von Drachenfuls instead. And no, I'm still not sure about the soup bowls.