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Famous fiction has yielded both delectable and disgusting meals. Designer and writer Dianah Fried prepares food that appears in some literary classics like To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee or Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. After assembling a dish like an avocado with crabmeat salad (from Slyiva Plath’s The Bell Jar), she art directs and documents the meal. A collection of these fascinating photographs are included in her book entitled Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals, published by Harper Collins. Of course, the images aren’t complete without the literary passages that made them unforgettable, as well as interesting facts about the author and novel, too
Fried’s project originally began as a short-term assignment while at the Rhode Island School of Design, but quickly grew into a larger undertaking. It soon had the near-vegetarian photographer preparing pig kidneys for Ulysses, and cooking bananas 11 ways as described in Gravity’s Rainbow. Sound disgusting? Maybe, but for the reader who loves food, Fictitious Dishes is the best of both worlds.
Passage from The Great Gatsby to accompany above photograph: “On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d’oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold.”
Alice in Wonderland
“‘Have some wine,’ the March Hare said in an encouraging tone. Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea.”
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
“‘You goddamn honkies are all the same.’ By this time he’d opened a new bottle of tequila and was quaffing it down….He sliced the grapefruit into quarters...then into eighths...then sixteenths...then he began slashing aimlessly at the residue."
“The kettle soon began to boil, and meanwhile the old man held a large piece of cheese on a long iron fork over the fire, turning it round and round till it was toasted a nice golden yellow color on each side. Heidi watched all that was going on with eager curiosity.”
“Our appetites being sharpened by the frosty voyage, and in particular, Queequeg seeing his favorite fishing food before him, and the chowder being surpassingly excellent, we despatched it with great expedition...”
“Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger, and reckless with misery. He rose from the table; and advancing to the master, basin and spoon in hand, said: somewhat alarmed at his own temerity: ‘Please, sir, I want some more.’”
On the Road
“But I had to get going and stop moaning, so I picked up my bag, said so long to the old hotelkeeper sitting by his spittoon, and went to eat. I ate apple pie and ice cream — it was getting better as I got deeper into Iowa, the pie bigger, the ice cream richer.”
The Bell Jar
“Then I tackled the avocado and crabmeat salad...Every Sunday my grandfather used to bring me an avocado pear hidden at the bottom of his briefcase under six soiled shirts and the Sunday comic.”
“There were old, half-rotten vegetables; bones from the evening meal, covered in white sauce that had gone hard; a few raisins and almonds; some cheese that Gregor had declared inedible two days before; a dry roll and some bread spread with butter and salt....”
The Catcher in the Rye
“When I’m out somewhere, I generally just eat a Swiss cheese sandwich and a malted milk.
It isn’t much, but you get quite a lot of vitamins in the malted milk. H. V. Caulfield. Holden Vitamin Caulfield.”
The Secret Garden
“Roasted eggs were a previously unknown luxury and very hot potatoes with salt and fresh butter in them were fit for a woodland king—besides being deliciously satisfying.”
To Kill a Mockingbird
“‘Gracious alive, Cal, what’s all this?’ He was staring at his breakfast plate. Calpurnia said, ‘Tom Robinson’s daddy sent you along this chicken this morning. I fixed it.’ ‘You tell him I’m proud to get it—bet they don’t have chicken for breakfast at the White House.’”
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