Sunday, 29 September 2013

Herta Müller | Plum Frangipane Tart

I admit! Ηers is not a household name and it was only after the awarding of the Nobel prize for literature in 2009 that I heard of her. Herta Müller sets her stories amidst the cruelty and terror of a totalitarian state, usually in Communist Romania under the oppressive regime of Nicolae Ceauşescu. The Land of Green Plums is a novel concerned with displacement and disconnection, with minorisation and isolation as it explores the disruption of normal human relationships resulting from the trauma that the threat of violence causes.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

D.H. Lawrence | Fig Frangipane Tart

Lawrence's poem 'Figs' is less about eating customs or the botany behind the title's fruit, although both form an intrinsic part of the text, and more about women; or rather about the symbolism of figs which reveals the poet's attitude to female sexuality.

The proper way to eat a fig, in society,
Is to split it in four, holding it by the stump,
And open it, so that it is a glittering, rosy, moist, honied, heavy-petalled four-petalled flower.
Then you throw away the skin
Which is just like a four-sepalled calyx,
After you have taken off the blossom with your lips.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Nancy Willard | Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes

It was the titles of her books, with their literary allusions but mainly their fantastical combination of the ordinary and the imaginary, that intrigued me most about Nancy Willard. Her collection Household Tales of Moon and Water, from which the 'How to Stuff a Pepper' poem is taken, puts domestic life and the relationships formed within such a frame in a rather wondrous light.