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Gastro-modernismFood, Literature, Culture$
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Derek Gladwin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781942954682

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781942954682.001.0001

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Late Modernist Rationing

Late Modernist Rationing

War, Class, Power

(p.117) Chapter Seven Late Modernist Rationing

Kelly Sullivan

Liverpool University Press

Late modernist writers highlight food consumption as a palatable means of discussing their reactions to perceived shifts in class and power in British society. This chapter considers the food in work by Elizabeth Bowen, Barbara Pym, Henry Green, Olivia Manning, and Elizabeth David. In the wartime fiction of Bowen and Green, the innocuous egg trades as class currency, and the writers’ attention to the presence or loss of eggs indicates deep concerns about a decline in class privilege. Barbara Pym’s postwar Excellent Women registers the liberating effects of austerity for single women, and Manning’s novels pair with David’s postwar cookbook depicting elegant and unobtainable Mediterranean food that helped democratize “good taste” for the changed social landscape of postwar Britain.

Keywords:   Elizabeth Bowen, Olivia Manning, Barbara Pym, rationing, late modernism, class

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