(This is part 2 of 3 posts.)
Plod, plod, plod.
Plodding is a fact of life.
Everyone does it. There are those who embrace plodding as the most virtuous and acceptable way to live. Within this form of thinking, the idea of stepping out of the circle of plodding to do a little jig or a mad pirouette or a sudden break-dance is a nefarious idea.
I’m rather anti-plod myself. Although I plod often enough and know that life requires plodding, I also believe that if one can escape it, one should.
The writing of history often starts off with a traditional form. It’s called a time-line, and the thought of time-lines (outside of the idea of memorizing facts, which is not the highest calling I personally can think of) leaves me feeling a deep despair.
Open the book and there they are – the march of history goes forward from beginning to end, measured out by time. My mind goes to thoughts of Alfred Prufrock.
I opened the pages of ‘Near a Thousand Tables’ and there was no time-line.
Instead, there was a dance. A dance of ideas, a whirling through history viewed as concepts plucked in gathered handfuls. History not viewed straight-line but rather as a sea.
Instead of ‘And at the beginning there was . . . ‘, there is this: The Invention of Cooking. Followed by (gasp) (see me doing a little dance myself) The Meaning of Eating – Food as Rite and Magic. Then Breeding to Eat; The Edible Earth; Food and Rank; The Edible Horizon; Challenging Evolution; and finally Feeding the Giants.
He’s not coloring within the lines.
Thank goodness I do not have to think of Alfred Prufrock.
Though I would like to write more on this, at the moment I must go plod at some usual things. My mind is filled with dance and the sea, though – and if I have the least chance to set in a bit of anti-plod here and there, I will.
And I’ll also come back to write more on this dancing book of food history in the next post.
Sorry, dudes. I think it already happened.