Well, this is the best. Photographer Dinah Fried has excerpted descriptions of meals from a wonderful range of literature — everything from Bread and Jam for Frances to A Confederacy of Dunces — and recreated those meals in gorgeous, lush photographs. I recently acquired a work iPad and discovered that one of the best uses of an iPad is to look at beautiful things. I borrowed Fictitious Dishes as an ebook from my library and tediously spent several days forcing everyone near me to look at all the pretty pictures. And now it is your turn.
Here’s the one from The Bell Jar:
Nearly as wonderful as the photographs of the actual food are the details Fried includes to evoke the atmosphere of the books in question. In one of my favorites from the book, the photograph of The Great Gatsby, you can see a monogrammed napkin of Gatsby’s, and some pearls and a cigarette holder to suggest the time period.
Dinah Fried makes me want to love books that I know I don’t love, like Moby Dick:
I mean, how much do you love these photos? I want to buy the book, cut all the pictures out, and paper my dining room walls with them. The only thing holding me back is the fear that guests would then have unrealistic expectations of my cooking.
Thanks to the wondrous Maria Popova of Brain Pickings for bringing this book to my attention a little earlier this year.