Prompted by a faculty discussion over Great Books in the modern era, I drove home last night thinking about these two great novels together. I loved reading them, and so the best answer, at least for me, is, “The Brothers Karamazov and The Magic Mountain.” Still, it was a good exercise comparing them during my drive on the PCH and I-405.
Here is part one.
“As nearly the same time as the discovery of alcohol,” writes Fernand Braudel in the first of his three-volume work on capitalism from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century,
Europe, at the centre of the innovations of the world, discovered three new drinks, stimulants, and tonics: coffee, tea, and chocolate. All three came from abroad: coffee was Arab (originally Ethiopian); tea, Chinese; chocolate, Mexican.
This two-part reflection was inspired by my Great Books classes in the last two years, and by this photo from my Pepperdine colleague Donna Plank. Norman Rockwell’s classic illustration “Freedom From Want,” which I showed in the American history survey class last week, reminded me to finish these posts before Thanksgiving. Gobble gobble!
With two exceptions, all of my non-academic jobs have involved foodstuffs to some extent.
Continue reading “Reading about food & drink #1”
What did the first waves of Vietnamese refugees in America think about themselves? What was their mindset regarding their place in the world? Is it possible to write a coherent literary history of their experience?
The search for answers can take different directions and have different starting points. In my opinion, it isn’t a bad idea to begin with a collection of poetry, essays, memoirs, and fiction entitled Tuyển Tập Thơ Văn 90 Tác Giả Việt Nam Hải Ngoại 1975-1981: Selected Poetry and Prose from Ninety Vietnamese Writers Abroad, 1975-1981 (Missouri City, TX: Văn Hữu, 1982). KEEP READING!