chapter  8
16 Pages

Savory Writing: Marcel Rouff's Vie et Passion de Dodin-Bouffant

By 1924, the joyful feasts of Mateel Proust's first two volumes were already yesterday's news. As the remaining volumes of his monumental Recherche were published at the end of his lifetime and in the years following his death, the gastronomic symphonies, the gustatory memories, and the culinary remembrances of the early volumes had been replaced by concerns of middle-aged men and women rapidly turning into the senescent characters of the matinee chez fa Princesse de Guermantes. By the end of Proust's novel, many things have changed, not the least of which are the characters themselves. Gone are the foods of the early years and early pages: gone are the days of madeleines and linden-tea, of boeuf a fa mode and pineapple and truffle salad, of Fran~oise's torture by asparagus of the scullery maid nicknamed Giotto's fa Charite. Gone too are the teas a l'angfaise given by Odette Swann and the bread bought by the Princesse de Luxembourg, noblesse oblige, for Marcel to offer his grandmother, as are Fran~oise's "New York ham," her "sale bete" that, though beheaded, refuses to die, and the sensuous fish and seafood of Balbec.