Thursday, 4 May 2017

Caviar And Toast

Nicholas van Rijn, Dominic Flandry and James Bond are all gourmets but there is a difference. The Bond books are exotic travelogues. Detailed descriptions, even instructions, about high living and expensive dining are part of their subject matter. This blog has grown a food thread, partly describing meals consumed by Anderson's characters but mainly listing menus from SM Stirling's works. However, for Anderson and Stirling, meals are a part of life to be described like the seasons and the scenery whereas, for Fleming, there is an agenda: this is how the elite lives. I have just read Bond's loving discussion of caviar with toast and champagne but do not propose to start adding Fleming's recipes to the food thread!

I always read Fleming's series for action and adventure and later learned to my surprise that some readers tried to model their life-style on Bond's. Anderson's characters rightly enjoy life but without elitism.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I am surprised some fans take the James Bond books so seriously they model aspects of their lives on that of 007. But, my point is to ask if "elitism" always something bad or unworthy? Is elitism always always to be deprecated if people striving to imitate the elite, however that is defined, try to be more refined, cultured, genuinely appreciative of the best in culture, philosophy, and the arts?

I actually came across that idea in one of Taylor Caldwell's novels, perhaps in GREAT LION OF GOD. Caldwell (died 1985) was an American writer of popular novels I used to be somewhat of a fan of long ago.