August 10, 2009

Fried eggs, milky bodies

"I never get this stuff at home," he would say lovingly, spearing a chip and inserting it into the yolk of a fried egg. Anxious, in her nightgown, she would watch him, a saucepan of baked beans to hand. Judging the state of his appetite with the eye of an expert, she would take another dish and ladle on to his plate a quivering mound of egg custard. "Food fit for heroes," he would sigh contentedly, his lean milky body forever resistant to the fattening effects of such a diet.

"Smashing," he would pronounce, leaning back, replete. "Any tea going?"

But even as he drank his tea she would notice him quickening, straightening, becoming more rapid and decisive in his movements, and when he passed his hands over his short, dark red hair she would know that the transition was in progress and that he would soon get dressed.
--Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac
I don't usually like runny yolk in a fried egg, but the idea of it as a chip dip sounds halfway decent.

Speaking of food, a character named Monica in this book has a very odd eating disorder. She doesn't actually eat much of the food she picks up off her plate—she just waves her arm around until the food falls off her fork, down the tablecloth, and into her dog's anticipatory mouth. Funny image. There are far less imaginative ways to suffer from an eating disorder, I suppose.

Another excerpt:
"Who comes here?" she asked.

"People like us," he replied.

He was a man of few words, but those few words were judiciously selected, weighed for quality, and delivered with expertise. Edith, used to the ruminative monologues that most people consider to be adequate for the purposes of rational discourse, used, moreover, to concocting the cunning and even learned periods which the characters in her books so spontaneously uttered, leaned back in her chair and smiled. The sensation of being entertained by words was one which she encountered all too rarely.
To borrow a phrase from Ms. Brookner, yes, "the sensation of being entertained by words" is one of many good reasons to read this book—or any book, for that matter.

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