By Francine Prose
In the USA, notes acclaimed novelist Francine Prose, we're captivated with meals and vitamin. and what's this obsession with foodstuff other than a fight among sin and advantage, overeating and self-control--a fight with the fierce temptations of gluttony. In Gluttony, Francine Prose serves up a wonderful ceremonial dinner of witty and fascinating observations in this such a lot scrumptious of lethal sins. She strains how our notions of gluttony have advanced in addition to our principles approximately salvation and damnation, healthiness and disorder, lifestyles and loss of life. delivering a full of life smorgasbord that levels from Augustine's Confessions and Chaucer's Pardoner's story, to Petronius's Satyricon and Dante's Inferno, she indicates that gluttony used to be in medieval occasions a deeply religious topic, yet this day we now have reworked gluttony from a sin into an illness--it is the horrors of ldl cholesterol and the perils of beef that we demonize. certainly, the trendy tackle gluttony is that we overeat out of compulsion, self-destructiveness, or to prevent intimacy and social touch. yet gluttony, Prose reminds us, can also be an confirmation of delight and of ardour. She ends the booklet with a dialogue of M.F.K. Fisher's idiosyncratic safety of 1 of the good heroes of gluttony, Diamond Jim Brady, whose abdominal was once six instances basic measurement. "The huge, glossy face of the glutton," Prose writes, "has been--and keeps to be--the reflect during which we see ourselves, our hopes and fears, our darkest goals and inner most desires." by no means have we delved extra deeply into this reflect than during this insightful and stimulating book.
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Additional info for Gluttony : The Seven Deadly Sins: The Seven Deadly Sins
Meanwhile, the punishments suffered by the modern glutton are at once more complex and subtle than eternal damnation. Now that gluttony has become an affront to prevailing standards of beauty and health rather than an offense against God, the wages of sin have changed and now involve a version of hell on earth: the pity, contempt, and distaste of one's fellow mortals. What makes the glutton's penance all the more public and cruel is that gluttony is the only sin whose effects (in the absence of that rare and fortunate metabolism that permits the fruits of sin to remain hidden) are visible, written on the body.
For there are several beasts that feed on commoner kinds of food, but it does not follow that they are more temperate than we are. "17 Too soon, too delicately, too expensively, too greedily, too much. Is the sin of gluttony really only an offense against the self and the bodyor can it also constitute a wrong against society? In search of an answer perhaps we should turn from Augustine's confession (or testimony as Garry Wills more accurately terms it in his recent biography of the saint) to my own.
In search of an answer perhaps we should turn from Augustine's confession (or testimony as Garry Wills more accurately terms it in his recent biography of the saint) to my own. How often the modern confession takes the form of the account of one's most embarrassing moment, told and retold until it has lost, or almost lost, its power to embarrass. My own story, as it happens, concerns gluttony. The particular occasion for sin was a social event in which I unconsciously or semiconsciously hurt others by my rather moderate (if I may say so) descent into gluttony.