RARA-AVIS: Re: Cooking

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@colba.net)
Date: 27 Jul 2001

> > Surely there are no truly hardboiled stories that
>> dwell on cooking, beyond
>> quick meals at diners and sumptuous feasts laid on
>> by corrupt city bosses.
>> Haven't people here made an inverse relationship
>> between Spenser's
> > toughness and his cooking?

Well, not everyone. I think it's more a point of emphasis. In the earlier books, it was just something Spenser did, among many other things. But the food and drink stuff has certainly become more prominent in later books, as Spenser becomes more domesticated (which isn't necessarily the same as going soft).

While there's nothing inherently feminine about cooking, there is something vaguely embarrassing about guys who seem to think not being able to handle themselves in the kitchen is some kind of point of macho honour, or that being able to cook is a mark against one's toughness or masculinity.

After all, people have definitely made connections here between competency and toughness. And boasting about one's incompetence, be it about not being able to boil water, if you're a certain type of man, or about not knowing how to change a car tire, if you're a certain kind of woman, is just sort of sad, sad, sad.

A hard-boiled cooking story? Why not? I think a hard-boiled story could be about almost anything.

To carry the cooking analogy a little further, I think hard-boiled is more about the way things are cooked, not the ingredients themselves.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 27 Jul 2001 EDT