By Lisa Angelella

Modernism frequently reveled within the lack of keep watch over, the permeation of non-public
boundaries, the creation of ambiguity, that evocation of the senses brings approximately. It
strove to loosen the buildings 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 global 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 via his thought of
intersubjectivity, I discover the phenomenological presentation of specific sensual
encounters with nutrition within the paintings of Enrest Hemingway, Katherine Mansfield, Virginia
Woolf, James Joyce and Willa Cather. I express how characters, of their encounters with
sensual otherness, consider themselves triumph over in poignant moments of ecstasy, disgust, or
revelation of self-constitution throughout the alimentary. I additionally argue that Modernist fiction
does not just demonstrate Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology, but in addition nuances his undying and
placeless presentation of the stumble upon among a common topic and any item, by means of
considering the sensual consuming adventure inside of a number of ancient meals stipulations, such
as the explosion of the canned nutrition and the sluggish dissolution of the formal
meal, and from a number of topic positions, in line 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 feel.
In every one consuming scene I discover I reflect on how gustatory, haptic, and fragrant properties
of foodstuff objects—such as liquidness, sweetness, bloodiness and lightness—intervene in
more cerebral human family members. primary to the interesting 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

Example text

Even cooking canned food, takes “knowledge of cookery” when attempted in the woods. Horace Kephart, famous early-twentieth century writer of camping manuals, tells potential campers: “One glance at a camper’s fire tells what kind of a woodsman he is. It is quite impossible to prepare a good meal over a heap of smoking chunks, a fierce blaze, or a great bed of coals that will warp iron and melt everything else” (225). Hemingway thus reverses modern conditions by endowing Nick with a hunger and separation from the sources of food, as well as preparation requirements which are distinctively un-modern, defamiliarizing and challenging.

He uses this modernist phenomenology to combat industry’s unprecedented, invasive relation with nature. Hemingway underscores the rather dominating relation taken towards the earth by agribusiness and the food industry by making his protagonist and eater of canned food a soldier and rendering the woods scorched. Nick is not called a soldier in the story, but Hemingway described the piece as a story “about coming back from the war with no mention of the war in it” (76). Nick is, however, a recovering soldier and wants to shed the logic of domination modernity ingrained in him.

Though he eats from cans, Nick fuses his industrially-produced food back with natural elements. He makes his coffee with river water. He warms the meal with the natural heat of an open fire. As is the case with the eater in Farewell to Arms, he contacts the food without the mediation of man-made utensils—eating with his hands as he mops up the sauce of his dinner with bread, and drinking the apricots straight from the can. Much has been written on the elaborate repertoire of polite eating manners 41 and rituals implemented in most cultures in order to disguise the otherwise very bodily act of eating.

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