NABOKV-L post 0026834, Thu, 28 Jan 2016 14:00:20 +0300

Subject
Nabokov on food (my favorite dishes)
Date
Body
A Literary Dinner

Come here, said my hostess, her face making room
for one of those pink introductory smiles
that link, like a valley of fruit trees in bloom,
the slopes of two names.
I want you, she murmured, to eat Dr. James.

I was hungry. The Doctor looked good. He had read
the great book of the week and had liked it, he said,
because it was powerful. So I was brought
a generous helping. His mauve-bosomed wife
kept showing me, very politely, I thought,
the tenderest bits with the point of her knife.
I ate--and in Egypt the sunsets were swell;
The Russians were doing remarkably well;
had I met a Prince Poprinsky, whom he had known
in Caparabella, or was it Mentone?
They had traveled extensively, he and his wife;
her hobby was People, his hobby was Life.
All was good and well cooked, but the tastiest part
was his nut-flavored, crisp cerebellum. The heart
resembled a shiny brown date,
and I stowed all the studs on the edge of my plate.



Southey liked a roasted rat for supper - which is especially comic in view
of the rats that devoured his Bishop. (Pale Fire, note to Lines 376-377)



The wasp was investigating her plate. Its body was throbbing.

'We shall try to eat one later,' she [Ada] observed, 'but it must be gorged
to taste good. Of course, it can't sting your tongue. No animal will touch a
person's tongue. When a lion has finished a traveler, bones and all, he
always leaves the man's tongue lying like that in the desert' (making a
negligent gesture). (Ada, 1.12)



Alexey Sklyarenko


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