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LeftoversEating, Drinking and Re-thinking with Case Studies from Post-war French Fiction$
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Ruth Cruickshank

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620672

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620672.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

(Re-)Thinking with Eating and Drinking

(Re-)Thinking with Eating and Drinking

(p.13) Chapter One (Re-)Thinking with Eating and Drinking

Ruth Cruickshank

Liverpool University Press

There is an extraordinary convergence of post-war French thought which, knowingly or not, uses or is legible through food and drink and carries the potential for re-thinking overlooked psychological, ideological and historical meanings in representations of eating and drinking. Some thinkers are associated with eating and drinking: Lévi-Strauss’ culinary triangle; Barthes’ ideological and psychosociological readings of food and drink; or Certeau, Giard and Mayol positing cooking and shopping as creative ‘poaching’ on capitalist scripts. Food and drink exemplify arguments, with Bataille’s potlatch illustrating economies of excess; Sartre’s sweet, viscous lure of bad faith; Beauvoir’s skewering of how domestic labour constructs women as man’s negative other; Bourdieu on how food choices perpetuate class division; the leftovers of weaning in Lacanian lack and repressed trauma; and Kristeva’s skin of milk evoking abjection. More metaphorically, Cixous figures mother’s milk as ‘white ink’ and reading as ‘eating on the sly’, whilst for Derrida, traces and remainders are necessary leftovers of meaning and ‘eating well’ may counter carno-phallogocentrism. Introducing how Fischler’s theorizing of the incorporation of food fuels new readings, and noting the influence of Marx and Freud (and their dependence on food), new critical combinations emerge, creating a flexible mode of re-thinking with leftovers.

Keywords:   excess, bad faith, distinction, traces, feminism, ‘Eating Well’, lack, carno-phallogocentrism, abjection, incorporation

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