Monday, February 9, 2015

Fictitious Dishes

Fried, Dinah. Fictitious Dishes. New York, Harper Design, 2014. Print.
image from:

My Thoughts
Dinah Fried writes, "Reading and eating are natural companions, and they've got a lot in common. Reading is consumption. Eating is consumption. Both are comforting, nourishing, restorative, relaxing, and mostly enjoyable. They can energize you or put you to sleep. Heavy books and heavy meals both require a period of intense a voracious reader, I devour my favorite books" (11). Reading this, I knew I'd enjoy this book.

The introduction explains how this project began and then grew. Fried takes a certain passage from a book that includes something about the food. Then, she creates a visual for the passage. No detail is too small. She says that preparing for the "shoot was a delightful and obsessive treasure hunt" (Fried 12).  It is delicious (pun intended)! I enjoyed seeing the extra attention to detail in many of the photographs.

I enjoyed reading this book one Saturday afternoon. It is not too text laden, but one thing that is included with the book passage are tidbits of trivia. Sometimes the information is about the writer, the book or about the specific food. Very interesting. For example, "a single banana is often referred to as a 'finger' and a bunch of bananas is called a 'hand'" (Fried 100). Another example of something I learned is about the moustache cup. "Invented in the 1860s and popular during the late Victorian era, the moustache cup has a semicircular ledge that extends across part of the cup's opening and keeps the user's moustache from getting wet while he drinks" (Fried 116). Now reading this is fine, but SEEING it is better! Fried has one in the photograph.

I did find what I would deem two "errors" in the book. In The Catcher in the Rye description, Swiss cheese is mentioned, but the photograph looks like cheddar cheese. In The Road photograph, I would have liked to see the fruit in the cans instead of the plastic cups.

There is a wide range of books included in this project. Many of the books I have not read, but it was not needed to understand what Fried is doing.

After her photos, Fried includes brief summaries of each book included as well as a bibliography where she gathered the ancillary information.

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