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The Duchess of Malfi s Apricots and Other Literary Fruits (Hardback)

Robert M. Palter

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ISBN 10: 1570034176 / ISBN 13: 9781570034176
Published by University of South Carolina Press, United States, 2002
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Language: English . Brand New Book. What is the powerful cultural significance of mangoes to contemporary Hispanic American writers? How does the strange sex life of figs relate to literature? Why are bananas the humorous fruit par excellence, and how are grapefruits anomalous among the citruses? Literary episodes featuring fruit are pervasive across genre and cultural tradition, occurring in the Bible, modern and contemporary literature, and everywhere in between. Robert Palter provides a meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated account of this phenomenon. The Duchess of Malfi s Apricots, and Other Literary Fruits is a lively and far-ranging investigation of the way fruit has been used in literature to express the entire garnut of human experience. The visual arts - including sculpture, painting, and calligraphy - are also richly represented, with some fifty illustrations, most of them in color. The depth of Palter s research is evident in the stunning variety of texts he examines. Citing hundreds of examples from some two dozen languages, Palter discusses everything from novels, short stories, and lyric poems to nursery rhymes, fairy tales, movie scripts, and opera librettos. All foreign-language texts are quoted in English, often rendered by distinguished translators. The author s own genial and informed voice sets the tone for a lively conversation about the significance of literary fruit. Concise explanations of relevant horticulture and plant physiology are presented in a manner convincing for the specialist but also readily accessible to general readers. This delightful book offers an engaging and thoroughly documented journey through literary and art history in its survey of the surprisingly intricate and evocative variety of references to fruit. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9781570034176

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Duchess of Malfi s Apricots and Other ...

Publisher: University of South Carolina Press, United States

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardback

Book Condition:New

Edition: New.

About this title


The sensuous richness and bawdy ridiculousness of fruits are a regular feature of literature, from the Bible and ancient Greek plays to Arabic court poetry and medieval and modern prose and verse. This attractive and substantial volume revels in the luxurious fruity metaphors of the past with chapters dedicated to particular fruits and their literary double meanings through the ages. Palter begins with apples and figs and picks his way through strawberries (and cream), plums, bananas, peaches, apricots, pomegranates, pears, pineapples, citrus fruits, melons, cherries, grapes and berries. He also looks at wine, orchards and gardens and the enemies of fruit. The volume is full of poetry and prose, demonstrating how authors have used fruit to describe much about the human experience, particularly sex, love and desire. The chapters also look at the place of each fruit in kitchens through the ages, as they evolved from being an exotic to a more everyday food, and their perceived medicinal properties. This is a lovely book, well worth a dip.

About the Author:

Born in Queens, New York, ROBERT PALTER earned a degree in chemistry at Columbia University. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army, working on the Manhattan Project. He received a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Chicago, and is currently Dana Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. A scholar with wide-ranging interests, Palter has throughout his academic career published on the philosophy and history of science as well as eighteenth-century intellectual history. He lives in New Britain, Connecticut.

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