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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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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: 10 May 2021

“The Raw and the Cooked”

“The Raw and the Cooked”

Food and Modernist Poetry

(p.183) Chapter Eleven “The Raw and the Cooked”

Lee M. Jenkins

Liverpool University Press

This chapter proposes that Claude Lévi-Strauss’s “categorical opposition” is prefigured in modernist poetry’s representation of and relationship to food. The binary between the “raw” and the “cooked” provides a means of discriminating not only between the kinds of foods served up in modernist poems but between varieties of poetic modernism as well. With reference to poems by D.H. Lawrence, T.S. Eliot, and Wallace Stevens, the chapter posits that the appetites and allergies of this “culinary triangle” are paradigmatic of the dialectic, in modernism, between poets who align themselves with the party of nature (Lawrence) and those whose affiliation is to the party of culture (Eliot and Stevens). Like many of their modernist contemporaries, both Lawrence and Eliot raid the larder of vegetation myths that is Frazer’s The Golden Bough, and yet the antithetical ways in which that vegetable lore is presented in the “Fruits” poems of Birds, Beasts and Flowers and processed in The Waste Land reveals a difference not only in aesthetic taste, but also in the relation of the symbolic order of culture to the organic or natural order.

Keywords:   D.H. Lawrence, T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, poetry, incarnation, Persephone, mythology, food

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