Food in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism: Eating Disorders - Essay

Carol Shiner Wilson (essay date 1991)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Wilson, Carol Shiner. “Stuffing the Verdant Goose: Culinary Esthetics in Don Juan.Mosaic, 24, nos. 3-4 (summer-fall 1991): 33-52.

[In the following essay, Wilson discusses the use of culinary discourse in Byron's poem, suggesting that it not only reflects the poet's personal obsession with food and alcohol, but also satirizes what he considered the poor taste in poetry exhibited by many of his contemporaries.]

Food and drink, literal and metaphorical, abound in Byron's satiric masterpiece, Don Juan. Roasts, ragoûts, fishes, fowl, oysters, olla podrida, champagne, tea, and distilled spirits are repeatedly used as signs by an author...

(The entire section is 7459 words.)

Lilian R. Furst (essay date 1992)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Furst, Lilian R. “The Power of the Powerless: A Trio of Nineteenth-Century French Disorderly Eaters.” In Disorderly Eaters: Texts in Self-Empowerment, edited by Lilian R. Furst and Peter W. Graham, pp. 153-66. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992.

[In the following essay, Furst examines female characters in works by Zola, Balzac, and Flaubert, finding that despite their different situations and backgrounds, all three deal with their frustrations and inner rage by developing eating disorders.]

Eating and its corollary, noneating, are, as every infant quickly discovers, potent means to control one's life, to negotiate disagreeable...

(The entire section is 6096 words.)

Elsa Nettels (essay date 1992)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Nettels, Elsa. “New England Indigestion and Its Victims.” In Disorderly Eaters: Texts in Self-Empowerment, edited by Lilian R. Furst and Peter W. Graham, pp. 167-84. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992.

[In the following essay, Nettels discusses the consumption or rejection of food and its relationship to self-assertion and manipulative behavior in New England novels.]

Prominent in American realistic fiction is the victim of what William Dean Howells called “New England indigestion,”1 a morbid physical and psychological condition manifested in eating disorders such as dyspepsia, willed starvation, and secret...

(The entire section is 7355 words.)