Scribes of Gastronomy: Representations of Food and Drink in Imperial Chinese Literature

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9789888139989: Scribes of Gastronomy: Representations of Food and Drink in Imperial Chinese Literature
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The culture of food and drink occupies a central role in the development of Chinese civilization, and the language of gastronomy has been a vital theme in literary productions through many different eras and genres. From stanzas on food and wine in the Book of Odes to the articulation of refined dining in The Dream of the Red Chamber and Su Shi's literary recipe for attaining culinary perfection, lavish textual representations help explain the unique appeal of food and its overwhelming cultural significance within Chinese society. These eight essays offer a colorful tour of Chinese gourmands whose work exemplifies the interrelationships of social and literary history surrounding food, with careful explication of such topics as the importance of tea in poetry, "the morality of drunkenness", and food's role in the objectification of women in certain classic texts.

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Review:

"This collection of stimulating essays explores the centrality of food and foodways as a core theme in Chinese literary culture from Qin through Qing. Its focus on literary treatments of alcohol and tea across poetry and prose will be valuable to speciali

"An erudite and timely examination of the centrality of food and drink as both substance and symbol in imperial China. The authors definitively establish gastronomy's long-standing connections to moral, social and political discourse in Chinese literature

"What shines through every one of the eight papers is a loving commitment to the subject of food and drink in literature, and the result is a charming and readable volume which punches above its weight in giving pleasure to the reader regardless of the ex

"As food writing emerges around the globe as a burgeoning field of critical inquiry from multiple perspectives--culinary, literary, social, and ecological--this edited volume of essays comes as a timely contribution from the Chinese world. As a much-needed

About the Author:

Isaac Yue is Assistant Professor of Chinese in the University of Hong Kong. Siu-fu Tang is Assistant Professor of Chinese in the University of Hong Kong.

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