‘The Belly of Paris,’ by Emile Zola

Novel, 1873 A heavy critique the Second Empire which was established in mid-nineteenth century France, through the fictionalised struggle and treatment of an aspiring ‘thin man’ revolutionary. Florent is pitched against the vast and stultifying displays of greed and wealth of Les Halles and the food around it, with particularly effective scenes and displays established in and around Florent’s brother’s charcuterie. The gluttony of those … Continue reading ‘The Belly of Paris,’ by Emile Zola

"Life is a Dream", by Gyula Krúdy

Fiction, 1931 Short stories, many of which can’t really be called ‘stories’, examining the lives of mainly working Hungarians through the food they are served and eat. The proliferation of broths, marrow bones and sour lungs give the collection a really earthy feeling, with many pieces not resolving and the imminent and sometimes actual presence of death giving the book a dreamy quality. Ten stories … Continue reading "Life is a Dream", by Gyula Krúdy