M.F.K. Fisher's Translation of Brillat-Savarin's The Physiology of Taste: Or Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy

4.09 avg rating
( 1,229 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780156717700: M.F.K. Fisher's Translation of Brillat-Savarin's The Physiology of Taste: Or Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

The Physiology of Taste or Transcendental Gastronomy by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin Translated from the last Paris edition by Fayette Robinson. Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin; 1 April 1755, Belley, Ain – 2 February 1826, Paris, was a French lawyer and politician, and gained fame as an epicure and gastronome: "Grimod and Brillat-Savarin. Between them, two writers effectively founded the whole genre of the gastronomic essay." His famous work, Physiologie du goût (The Physiology of Taste), was published in December 1825, two months before his death. The full title is Physiologie du Goût, ou Méditations de Gastronomie Transcendante; ouvrage théorique, historique et à l'ordre du jour, dédié aux Gastronomes parisiens, par un Professeur, membre de plusieurs sociétés littéraires et savantes. The book has not been out of print since it first appeared, shortly before Brillat-Savarin's death. Its most notable English translation was done by food writer and critic M. F. K. Fisher, who remarked "I hold myself blessed among translators." Her translation was first published in 1949. The body of his work, though often wordy or excessively - and sometimes dubiously - aphoristic and axiomatic, has remained extremely important and has repeatedly been re-analyzed through the years since his death. In a series of meditations that owe something to Montaigne's Essays, and have the discursive rhythm of an age of leisured reading and a confident pursuit of educated pleasures, Brillat-Savarin discourses on the pleasures of the table, which he considers a science. His French models were the stylists of the Ancien Régime: Voltaire, Rousseau, Fénelon, Buffon, Cochin and d'Aguesseau.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

You can't properly call yourself a gourmand (or even a minor foodie) until you've digested Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin's delectable 1825 treatise, The Physiology of Taste: Or, Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy. Brilliantly and lovingly translated in 1949 by M.F.K. Fisher (herself the doyenne of 20th-century food writing), the book offers the Professor's meditations not just on matters of cooking and eating, but extends to sleep, dreams, exhaustion, and even death (which he defines as the "complete interruption of sensual relations"). Brillat-Savarin, whose genius is in the examination and discussion of food, cooking, and eating, proclaims that "the discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a star."

Chocoholics will be satisfied to know that "carefully prepared chocolate is as healthful a food as it is pleasant ... that it is above all helpful to people who must do a great deal of mental work...." He examines the erotic properties of the truffle ("the truffle is not a positive aphrodisiac; but it can, in certain situations, make women tenderer and men more agreeable"), the financial influence of the turkey (apparently quite a prize in 19th-century Paris), and the level of gourmandise among the various professions (bankers, doctors, writers, and men of faith are all predestined to love food). Just as engrossing as the text itself are M.F.K. Fisher's lively, personal glosses at the end of every chapter, which make up almost a quarter of the book. These two are soulmates separated by centuries, and Fisher's fondness for the Professor comes through on every page. As she notes at the end, "I have yet to be bored or offended, which is more than most women can say of any relationship, either ghostly or corporeal." --Rebecca A. Staffel

About the Author:

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781603862240: The Physiology of Taste

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1603862242 ISBN 13:  9781603862240
Publisher: Merchant Books, 2009
Softcover

9780307269720: The Physiology of Taste: or Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy (Everyman's Library)

Everym..., 2009
Hardcover

9780140446142: The Physiology of Taste (Penguin Classics)

Pengui..., 1994
Softcover

9781582431031: The Physiology of Taste: Or Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy

Counte..., 2000
Softcover

9781887178099: The Physiology of Taste: Or Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy

Counte..., 1995
Hardcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, M. F. K. Fisher (Translator)
Published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (1978)
ISBN 10: 0156717700 ISBN 13: 9780156717700
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0156717700

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 13.58
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
Published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (1978)
ISBN 10: 0156717700 ISBN 13: 9780156717700
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110156717700

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 60.45
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
Published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (1978)
ISBN 10: 0156717700 ISBN 13: 9780156717700
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0156717700

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 88.84
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds