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Eating otherwise: the philosophy of food in twentieth-century literature

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook



“You are what you eat” is a popular phrase that this book dares to take entirely seriously: it uncovers connections between the alimentary and the ontological – between what or how one eats and what one is – in the work of four influential twentieth-century authors. In respect of the modernist aspects of the century, it looks at Georges Bataille and Samuel Beckett; in respect of its postmodernist aspects, it looks at Paul Auster and Margaret Atwood. Examining strange or unusual acts of eating, Eating Otherwise shows that these, and the ontological questions they prompt, provide a perspective through which modernism, postmodernism, and the relationship between them can be considered.
The book will invigorate literary food studies in examining the philosophical implications of literary representations of eating. This will in turn add to other relevant fields such as critical animal studies, and will contribute to twentieth-century literary studies by providing, firstly, in-depth readings of four major authors and, secondly, an alimentary angle to debates on modernism and postmodernism.