Writing the Meal: Dinner in the Fiction of Early Twentieth-century Women Writers

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University of Toronto Press, Jan 1, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 221 pages

In most cultures, women are in charge of meals and the rituals and customs surrounding meals. Writing the Meal explores the importance of dinners and other meals in fiction by Edith Wharton, Katherine Mansfield, Kate Chopin, Virginia Woolf, and other women writing at the turn of the twentieth century. The author proposes that the depiction of meals has particular significance and resonance for women writers, and that these presentations of meals reflect larger concerns about women's domestic and public roles in a time of social and cultural change.

Dinners serve as both a metaphor for the work of art and a source of inspiration for the fictional artist, while some works of fiction can be read as meals offered to the reader. As part of a larger domestic experience, dinners propose a new artistic language, which can be a crucial component of twentieth-century women's art.

 

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Contents

A Time to Eat
3
Food Culture and Language
10
Early TwentiethCentury
24
Edith Wharton and the Dinner
38
The House
60
Dinners and NonDinners in
81
Perspectives
108
The Art of Domesticity
147
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Diane McGee is Associate Dean, John Abbott College, Ste.Anne de Bellevue, Quebec.

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