A Weakness for Almost Everything: Notes on Life, Gastronomy, and Travel

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9781883642709: A Weakness for Almost Everything: Notes on Life, Gastronomy, and Travel
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Aldo Buzzi applies his unique sensibility to topics as disparate as his German mother and the history of toothpicks, and finds an appreciation for the beauty of the ordinary and the humor in the everyday.

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Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Italian

From Kirkus Reviews:

Free-wheeling observations of a literate, witty octogenarian Milanese architect and publisher whose interests seem to encompass just about everything. Buzzi (Journey to the Land of the Flies, 1996) uses his Introduction to conduct an informal interview with himself that prepares the reader for the offbeat experience to come. Sample question and answer: ``Do you prefer to live in the city or the country, or by the sea?'' ``I prefer a house in the city, surrounded by a garden that faces on one side the main street and on the other the sea or the country.'' Comments on food, family, writers and writing, language, and places complete this unconventional self-interview. Part One, ``Notes on Life,'' contains anecdotes featuring Buzzi himself, friends, and family. The direction a piece will take is unpredictable: Ordinary toothpicks, for example, stir memories of his first meal alone in a restaurant and of the uncle who owned it. In Part Two, ``Notes on Gastronomy,'' Buzzi interweaves little essays on the cooking of pasta, the serving of soup, and the writing of recipes with musings on ancient Roman cookbooks and Talleyrand's cook plus an excerpt from Baudelaire's poetry. Part Three, ``Notes on Travel,'' features two 1956 journeys, one from Mexico to Ecuador and another from New York to Charleston, South Carolina, and back. In both, Buzzi records his impressions of the countryside, people, cities and towns, restaurants and hotels. While his jottings are brief, the images they create are vivid, for Buzzi is an astute observer and can capture a scene in a word or a phrase. The end comes too soon in this impressively erudite and delightfully idiosyncratic work. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Aldo Buzzi; Ann Goldstein
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