RARA-AVIS: reading and cooking

From: Dixon H. Chandler II ( dchandler@nettally.com)
Date: 28 Jul 2001

Well, geez. I love to cook, and I think cooking and HB are tenuously related at best, but I've loved these comments (many tongue-in-cheek) so much I have to chime in. Besides, I've just cooked a fresh pot of coffee.

Kevin makes an excellent point:

>prominent in later books, as Spenser becomes more domesticated (which
>isn't necessarily the same as going soft).

>From: George Upper < gcupper3@yahoo.com>

>Interestingly, re Parker, Spenser never seems to bake.
>baking does seem more overtly feminine.

I think what George is referring to is the image of the housewife whipping up something for the oven, dressed in apron, a la 1950s era suburbia. And he's right on the money.

George makes another good point, and I think this underscores our under-the-surface understanding of stereotypes. Men are brutal cavemen, women maintain the household. Men make their way in the world, women make babies. Women get into trouble, men fight danger. It's not (always) true
(haha), but it bubbles uncomfortably the surface in much of out popular art.

>And re competency, Carroll John Daly stressed in many
>of his stories the illiteracy of his protagonist, as
>if that somehow proved masculinity or toughness. It
>seems to me that Marlowe, on the other hand, was often
>reading; Spenser, of course, read constantly.

But here, I disagree. Spenser QUOTES a lot, but I don't recall his ever actually reading a book. I've just read three recent Spensers in a row, and he watches football on TV, but doesn't read. Marlowe, on the other hand, READS. That's why Chandler is a more careful writer than Parker, and a better one. He follows that grad school dictum: "Show, don't tell."

>From: Mario Taboada < matrxtech@yahoo.com>

><<There's nothing remotely feminine about baking a frozen
>Swanson's Hungry Man TV dinner.>>

I love it! I'm going to have a manly dinner tonight, in honor of this suggestion! Love those little baked cherry pie "desserts."

-dc dchandler@nettally.com

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