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And so, as the Gregorian calendar ordained, this year too- 1944, on
Sándor day, March 18- we invited several relativ...
3




A knife slips on porcelain,
then silence again.
A shaking fork sheds half its load of rice.
I swallow meat as unchew...
4




Today's good deed is done.
I help clear the table,
no longer a guest, becoming family

This passage, taken from late...
5




The world was void.
The populous and the powerful-was a lump,
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless-
A l...
6




Scene One
Afternoon. A hanged cat dangles from the carpet-beating stand. Old lady
enters from depths of coachway, ca...
7




The diet of the young is unrefined,
that's why their innards are in such a pother;
From quot;Ethologyquot; by Ádám N...
8




as I waddle among you, bearing my albatross
shopping bag, I mutter a line of verse, quot;Milk,
a loaf, sliced hame, ...
Additives, Preservatives, Sweeteners: Hungarian Food in Literature and Culture
Additives, Preservatives, Sweeteners: Hungarian Food in Literature and Culture
Additives, Preservatives, Sweeteners: Hungarian Food in Literature and Culture
Additives, Preservatives, Sweeteners: Hungarian Food in Literature and Culture
Additives, Preservatives, Sweeteners: Hungarian Food in Literature and Culture
Additives, Preservatives, Sweeteners: Hungarian Food in Literature and Culture
Additives, Preservatives, Sweeteners: Hungarian Food in Literature and Culture
Additives, Preservatives, Sweeteners: Hungarian Food in Literature and Culture
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Additives, Preservatives, Sweeteners: Hungarian Food in Literature and Culture

This is the final product of a semester I spent abroad studying in Budapest, Hungary. Though I had other work, my primary interest was my independent project in which I read Hungarian literature, both traditional and contemporary, and photographed everything I ate. Then, I juxtaposed certain quotes from my readings with select photos and presented my work to the collegium. The notes included are my own, rough guide to help me through the presentation and are in no way complete.

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Additives, Preservatives, Sweeteners: Hungarian Food in Literature and Culture

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  2. 2. 2 And so, as the Gregorian calendar ordained, this year too- 1944, on Sándor day, March 18- we invited several relatives to dinner to celebrate the occasion. From Land Land, by Sándor Márai One of the first thigns i read is this personali memoir of hungary chronicling the end of World War II and the years after. Meal as metaphor, meal as bringing together, but also meal as conflict
  3. 3. 3 A knife slips on porcelain, then silence again. A shaking fork sheds half its load of rice. I swallow meat as unchewable as a horse chestnut. Family lunch with an unknown family. From quot;Lunchquot; by Krisztián Peer, out of Hide and Seek More contemporary, younger generation of poets, leaning towards post- modernism. meal as alienating. connect with awkward social situations as i got settled.
  4. 4. 4 Today's good deed is done. I help clear the table, no longer a guest, becoming family This passage, taken from later i the same poem, shows how the simple act of dining together can bring forth so much, and join people together. Connect with the hospitality i experienced (kata's, maria's, etc.)
  5. 5. 5 The world was void. The populous and the powerful-was a lump, Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless- A lump of death From quot;Darknessquot; by Lord Byron, taken from quot;The Ode 'To Autumn' as Ecosystemquot; by Jonathan Bate Jumping off from my documentation, i my readings took a turn in the direction of non-fiction. I started reading some eco-criticism, a new genre of literary anlysis that explores a text as a landscape, and the landscape as a text. The world around us tells a story, but so does our food. I paired this depressing quote with this depressing looking burger (the McRoyal, if you must know) because they convey the same feelings of despair and misery.
  6. 6. 6 Scene One Afternoon. A hanged cat dangles from the carpet-beating stand. Old lady enters from depths of coachway, carrying shopping bag dripping with blood. From Chicken Head by György Spiró. This absurdist drama presents a counterpoint to the examples of food's uplifting, social power. It displays a group of people, thoroughly disconected from one another, heading towards violence and psychosis. The play's opening lines display this. The closest thing to genuinely good character is the cat, dead by the time the play begins. The cat connects the characters to something greater, to the spiritual, especially because of the way people handle its death. It makes sense, then, that the cat is the only character related in any way to food, as the old lady devotes herself to keeping it fed, despite the struggles she has to endure to procure its food, a bag of bloody, frozen chicken heads. The desperation and desolation of the grund, or empty lot lacks food, or sustenance of any kind, to unite the characters.
  7. 7. 7 The diet of the young is unrefined, that's why their innards are in such a pother; From quot;Ethologyquot; by Ádám Nádasdy One section of my readings was devoted to contemporary comments on the depressing nature of our current age, as exemplified on this poem, which reveals the hungarian youth to be a crude and fragile. We referred to this group of poets as the 'fast food' poets, for the subjects they explicate are cheap, disposable, and lack quality and the ability to sustain.
  8. 8. 8 as I waddle among you, bearing my albatross shopping bag, I mutter a line of verse, quot;Milk, a loaf, sliced hame, some brawn and yeasr...quot; All essential things, everythign needful for the long journey, for the last great voyage when I shall discover the Land of Nothing, as have so many other tarvellers before me, From quot;Albatross with Shopping Bagquot; by István Csukás This poem reveals the painful trudge of a disillusinoed traveller, who's only company is his bag of groceries, a reminder of what keeps him moving towards his destination, whcih may or may not be death. I felt this way in Pecs, when I had the worst hangover of my life, and the only thing i the world that could sustain me, was this club sandwhich.

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