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But Hines published a further eight novels and nine screenplays between the s and s, as well as writing eleven other works which remain unpublished and unperformed. This study examines the entirety of Hines's work. It argues that he used a great variety of aesthetic forms to represent the lives of working-class people in Britain during the s, s, s and into the post-industrial conclusion of the twentieth century. It also makes the case that, as well as his literary flair for poetic realism, Hines's authorial contributions to the films of his novels show the profoundly collaborative nature of these works.

Click here for North and South America. We would like to place cookies on your computer to improve your viewing experience and help us make this website better. By using our site you accept the terms of our Privacy Policy. This volume aims at continuing this trend and bringing the topic of food in the early modern period to the fore of scholarly debates. The procurement and consumption of food is a constant and basic human need that provides a lens through which scholars can explore relationships among economic, religious, literary, legal, political, cultural, and social activities.

The study of food and its surrounding ideas and practices enables scholars to elucidate the intersection of material and mental exchanges that are fundamental to human experience. A comprehensive study of food and how it both nourishes and affects societies and bodies will shed light on medieval and early modern culture in general.

Questions and Topics for Discussion

Food and drink appear in a multitude of contexts in premodern Western Europe. It is described in texts and documents and is depicted in artifacts for domestic use and in textiles, paintings, and sculptures.

Images of food are carved in religious and civic buildings and in the ordinary tools of craftspeople. The symbolism of food and drink seems to have been present in all cultures, but in western culture it can be traced back to classical and biblical literature.


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Greek and Roman treatises on natural history and farming provide references to grains, nuts, fruits, and, of course, wine, while mythological accounts use foodstuffs as the attributes that embody each of the different gods: wheat for Ceres, grapes for Bacchus, for example. The Bible and the Apocrypha also use food symbolically as, for instance, in the Song of Songs , and Christian exegetical texts of the medieval and Renaissance period borrowed food imagery from pagan symbolism and used it in allegorical descriptions of vices and virtues and in the development of the liturgy.

In the Eucharist, for example, bread and wine symbolize the body and blood of Christ. As anthropologists have amply demonstrated, food establishes identities, defines groups, and brings about change and revolution. Scholars have remarked that in early modern texts, the faithful interpret religious prescriptions surrounding food as conduits to the deity. We unreservedly take for granted that societal pressure always informs and restricts individual food choices.

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However, the literary and historical record reveals that food acts in varied communities are also bound by gender considerations a man who fasts is appraised very differently from a woman who does so and by other factors, such as economic relations and individual agency. Religion prescription became of paramount importance in delimiting identities in the Iberian Peninsula during the early modern period.

Christians, Jews, and Muslims coexisted precariously in a world in which eating was infused with sacramental, ritual and symbolic significance and where the act of ritual eating contributed to alienating them further from one another. However, all of them were equally bound by ritualistic and symbolic rules regarding food consumption and preparation. Paradoxically, very often the only harmonious interaction among these three antagonistic groups was the one based on the commercial exchange of foodstuffs and spices. Trade, commerce, and navigation owe their existence to food and eating.

But in premodern culture, eating also had political value. It can release power and, I might add, it can bring about revolutions. Evan D. Fraser and Andrew Rimas very revealingly discuss the relevance of food in the context of several revolutionary events in the history of humankind that truly toppled empires. It is because of food that civilizations either thrive and prosper or are exposed to calamitous destruction and violence. The purpose of this volume of essays is to explore this hitherto neglected subject of the power and symbolism of food in various premodern communities.

Because food and foodstuffs are rooted in daily life as tangible objects, our project will use a materialistic approach and argue for the formulation of a material poetics of food. Food as a material reality can be interpreted in several ways. Because it is embedded in culture, it acquires further meaning derived from particular historical situations and not just from symbolic rituals. The thirteen chapters that follow are devoted to cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural scholarship on ideas, practices, and artifacts concerning food in the medieval and early modern periods, particularly in the Iberian Peninsula and, to a lesser extent, in France and Italy.

The chronological period under scrutiny ranges approximately from the eleventh to the seventeenth centuries. The chapters investigate an extensive assortment of texts and documents from Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, the three monotheistic cultures that coexisted in the West in the premodern era. The collection endeavors to challenge geographical, chronological, linguistic, and national boundaries in order to examine the subject matter comprehensively and present a more nuanced view of the subject. It draws upon the fields of history intellectual, social, economic, institutional, and cultural , literature studies, sociology, cultural studies, anthropology and religion.

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The authors share a keen awareness of the crucial significance of food as a focus of inquiry and their chapters are enlightening not only because they further culinary knowledge but also because they offer groundbreaking interpretations of the linkages between food its production, consumption, and exchange and the communities that consume it. This book thus aspires to make a significant contribution to the increasing scholarship on food in the medieval and early modern periods.

The distinctiveness of our collection lies in several factors. First, it approaches the topic of food and the forging of communities from an interdisciplinary perspective by drawing upon the study of history, sociology, literature, magic, gastronomy, religion, anthropology, and medicine. Second, it brings together scholars from distinct but interrelated disciplines for a challenging and engaged examination of the representation of food and foodstuffs in medieval and early modern Spain, France, and Italy.


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  8. And third, it relates cultural developments associated with food in discrete communities in this region of Europe to those of wider western and eastern culinary and religious traditions. Furthermore, while there are many other works that delve into the separate history of Spanish food or Catalan food or Islamic food or Jewish food or French food, there are no studies that integrate these traditions in a conversation with each other. The book is organized into three parts. Through the careful analysis of culinary and literary or performative texts, the first, Connections and Transitions in Muslim, Hebrew, and Christian Communities, corroborates the cultural hybridity prevalent in medieval Spain and reveals how food was used to preserve identity and to establish or destroy relationships in the communal and fluid borders between Muslim, Jews, and Christians in Medieval Iberia.

    These chapters examine an array of communities: monastic communities and the surrounding rural communities that emerge from or depend upon the former, lay urban communities, and medico-scholastic intellectual communities.

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    All of these were forged, in part, through partnerships associated with the production, preparation, distribution, availability, and selection of food. The third part of our collection, Food as Fetish: Gendering Sexual Desire through Food, focuses on the links between food and sexuality, particularly by analyzing instances of the act of eating as a seduction strategy in literary texts. Furthermore, in their analysis of the ties between gender, sexuality and power the chapters in this last section broaden the geographical scope of the collection, not solely because they include texts composed in the lands above the Pyrenees Les quinze joies de mariage , troubadour poetry, Caresme Et Charnage and the Italian Peninsula The Decameron but also because they examine the fruitful linkages between neighboring literary and cultural traditions and their use of similar gastronomic motifs.

    The first part begins with Carolyn A. Through her exploration of notions of authorship and the implied reader, the structures and shared culinary lexicon of these works, strategies of imitation, and diverse narrative voices, Nadeau traces some of the narrative bridges that bring these manuals together even though time, space and language separate them. The images of feasting, fasting, and food in this work offer glimpses of the significance of fifteenth-century Iberian foodways and food communities and of how food and drink serve to define social groups.

    Ultimately, though, all the food serves to distinguish the living from the dead and is one of the most powerful symbols of that which is lost in death. The romancero the corpus of romances or ballads also provides ample material for analyzing the subject of food in medieval communities. Hispanic ballads are characterized by their direct style and absence of redundant detail. In medieval culture, bread was a polysemous term that could have sexual, religious, feudal, and class connotations. For example, a reference to bread or the act of partaking of a meal conveyed considerable information about the bonds that existed between family members, among friends, or between a ruler and his subjects.

    In addition, providing and accepting a donation of bread in the ballads also served to distinguish between different social classes and communicated differing degrees of power. The provider of bread clearly symbolized the ruler, while any nobleman who accepts and eats that bread immediately became a ruled subject and vassal of the former. Thus, references to food functioned as a code that emphasized social hierarchy. Far removed from the hospitality that commensality suggests, these references foster inequality and, at times, convey outright hostility.

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