Google full text of our books:


The Flavors of Modernity:
Food and the Novel
Gian-Paolo Biasin

Paperback | 2017 | $29.95 | £24.95 | ISBN: 9780691603476
Hardcover | 2017 | $74.95 | £62.95 | ISBN: 9780691629827
182 pp. | 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
Add to Shopping Cart

eBook | ISBN: 9781400887224 |
Our eBook editions are available from these online vendors

Reviews | Table of Contents

From Rabelais's celebration of wine to Proust's madeleine and Virginia Woolf's boeuf en daube in To the Lighthouse, food has figured prominently in world literature. But perhaps nowhere has it played such a vital role as in the Italian novel. In a book flowing with descriptions of recipes, ingredients, fragrances, country gardens, kitchens, dinner etiquette, and even hunger, Gian-Paolo Biasin examines food images in the modern Italian novel so as to unravel their function and meaning. As a sign for cultural values and social and economic relationships, food becomes a key to appreciating the textual richness of works such as Lampedusa's The Leopard, Manzoni's The Betrothed, Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz, and Calvino's Under the Jaguar Sun. The importance of the culinary sign in fiction, argues Biasin, is that it embodies the oral relationship between food and language while creating a sense of materiality. Food contributes powerfully to the reality of a text by making a fictional setting seem credible and coherent: a Lombard peasant eats polenta in The Betrothed, whereas a Sicilian prince offers a monumental macaroni timbale at a dinner in The Leopard. Similarly, Biasin shows how food is used by writers to connote the psychological traits of a character, to construct a story by making the protagonists meet during a meal, and even to call attention to the fictionality of the story with a metanarrative description. Drawing from anthropology, psychoanalysis, sociology, science, and philosophy, the author gives special attention to the metaphoric and symbolic meanings of food. Throughout he blends material culture with observations on thematics and narrativity to enlighten the reader who enjoys the pleasures of the text as much as those of the palate.

Originally published in 1993.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.


"An interesting and original work. . ."--Modern Language Review

"[Biasin] analyzes images of food in such modern Italian novels as Calvino's Under the Jaguar Sun and Lampedusa's The Leopard; considers, for example, how writers use food to convey character psychology or to create a sense of material reality in fiction."--Chronicle of Higher Education


"Gian-Paolo Biasin treats his texts in a manner that is subtle but also, in the end, critically informed and powerful. No one else has possessed the mixture of critical imagination, insight, and tact to produce a study of this sort on this topic, so that Biasin's work is genuinely ground breaking."--Gregory Lucente, University of Michigan

Table of Contents:

INTRODUCTION The Flavors of Modernity
CHAPTER 1. The Juice of the Story: Alessandro Manzoni, Ipromessi sposi 29
CHAPTER 2. How to Make a Stew: Giovanni Verga, I Malavoglia 43
CHAPTER 3. Tea for Two: Gabriele D 'Annunzio, Il piacere 54
CHAPTER 4. A Wise Gourmet: Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, Il Gattopardo 65
CHAPTER 5. The Cornucopia of the World: Carlo Emilio Gadda, La cognizione del dolore and Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via Merulana 78
CHAPTER 6. Under Olivia 'Teeth: Italo Calvino, Sotto il sole giaguaro 97
CHAPTER 7. Our Daily Bread -Pane -Brot -Broid -Chleb -Pain -Lechem -Kenyér: Primo Levi, Se questo è un uomo 128

Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Gian-Paolo Biasin:


Subject Area:

Shopping Cart options:

  • For ebooks:

When this eBook becomes available, we will provide direct links to buy it. Until then,
check pre-order availability at these e-tailer sites by copying and pasting the eISBN

  • For hardcover/paperback orders in United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia

 Paperback : $29.95 ISBN: 9780691603476

Add to shopping cart

 Hardcover : $74.95 ISBN: 9780691629827

Add to shopping cart
View contents of your shopping cart

  • For hardcover/paperback orders in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan

 Hardcover  £62.95 ISBN: 9780691629827

Add to shopping cart

 Paperback  £24.95 ISBN: 9780691603476

Add to shopping cart
View contents of your shopping cart

Prices subject to change without notice

File created: 4/20/2017

Questions and comments to:
Princeton University Press

New Book E-mails
New In Print
PUP Blog
Princeton APPS
Sample Chapters
Princeton Legacy Library
Exam/Desk Copy
Recent Awards
Princeton Shorts
Freshman Reading
PUP Europe
About Us
Contact Us
PUP Home

Bookmark and Share 
Send me emails
about new books in:
Comparative Literature
More Choices