Monday, August 13, 2007

At long last I'm evil!

So I'm reading my Atlantic Monthly today, a piece about the essential immorality of gourmets - a position I have a certain amount of sympathy with. So imagine my surprise to find my book quoted - extensively! B.R. Myers takes issue with my account of lobster killing; the passages apparently indicate that I am hostile "to the very language of moral values."

Finally, someone gets me!

Seriously, though, I actually do feel like his point is fairly dubious. He seems to think that I'm all about mocking people's sensitivity to the lobster killing, but that isn't the case at all. On the contrary, my lobster chapter was all about the real hesitancy I had to boil the lobster, which I was doing at Julia's explicity behest. Yes, I make with the funny. But I laugh at all manner of offensive shit - the lobsters are just getting the same treatment I give everybody else. Better, even; can you imagine the heights of crassness I'd have reached if I'd been writing about boiling Karl Rove?

All this to day, thank you, Mr. Myers. You hate me, you really really hate me, and that is sort of awesome.

10 Comments:

Blogger Teri S. said...

I totally understood what you were getting at in the lobster chapter. Even though I love lobster, I have a problem with cooking them. It has something to do with driving back to Virginia from Maine with several live (but hibernating) lobsters in the car. I kind of...um...bonded with them.

I just finished reading your book, which has inspired me to pull out my mostly unused copy of MtAoFC and start cooking. Thanks for the inspiration!

6:43 AM  
Blogger Emma said...

Julie,

Today I finished your book. I should have been finishing my book, the one I'm writing and have been writing for years and I'm finally almost, almost finished. But instead, I finished yours and I loved the last bit.

When I got married in 1970 my mother-in-law, who learned to cook in Paris in the 50s, gave me my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol. 1. I have cooked from it ever since but have never dared boned duck or eggs in aspic. You are a very brave person.

Thanks,

3:08 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

A friend suggested that I read your book and I started it on the week-end. I've loved it so much that I haven't been able to bring myself to finish it. (Don't want the fun to be over!!!) Tonight I've found a quiet moment at a friend's home (I've been on holiday with no internet access) and now that I have found your blog, I know it is safe to finish. Thanks for the laughs and inspiration.

By the way, I read the introductory quotes of the lobster section to my family last night. We think you did a great job of capturing the challenges you faced!

5:14 PM  
Blogger Jojo said...

Julie, Julie, Julie! Hi! I loved your book and ... well, this may be a tangent ... but I think most of us are so far removed from the the killing of animals, be they lobsters or cows, that we comfortably eat them but couldn't kill them if our lives depended on it.

Thank you for your contribution to entertaining literature and cooking.

Did you know someone is doing a similar project at http://oneyearproject.com/

5:28 PM  
Blogger Dot Com Mom said...

Let them eat lobster!

3:25 PM  
Blogger Moody Foodie said...

Julie, am late to the cult of Julie Powell (sorry, I tend to resist foodie books that people tell me I HAVE to read as I'm naturally stubborn and sulky) but wanted to drop you a note. This isn't the place for it (though I do have many feelings about killing lobsters, mostly that it doesn't happen often enough or with enough butter). But, and I know you hear this all the time, but when I finally read your book last week I was struck by the many similarities including the PCOS, tolerant husbands, deep love for food, resentment of escalating Park Slope rents, and general foul-mouthed, big heartedness between us. Mostly though, its the PCOS thing. If you have any good doctors you're seeing or insight, I'd love it. All the listserves about it are so freaky and neurotic and shrill...
Would love to hear from you. But if not, keep up the good work.
Tomi Douglas
aka moodyfoodie
tomidouglas@yahoo.com

9:02 AM  
Blogger Miriam said...

A year with Rachael Ray? I'd fucking kill myself.

7:18 PM  
Blogger Ann Nelson said...

OMG! I just finished your book this morning (needy children be damned!!) and HAD to check out your blog. As for the lobster killing...puhleeeeze. I once used a lobster as a prop for a Halloween costume - a diver. It wasn't until I was completely wasted that guilt started to kick in and I left the near-dead fella in a hotel fountain. I was halfway home before the thought of chlorine hit me and I started crying. At least you killed to eat.

10:11 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Hey Julie,

I loved your lobster essay, and I have to say that Myers' attack on both you and Michael Pollan seemed utterly unjustified. Of all the food writers to go after, he goes after two who have actually written something about animal pain. What the hell? Why not go after someone like Anthony Bourdain or any of the endless number of chefs/writers who really DO act contemptuously toward the notion that we should at least *consider* the animals we're eating? So ridiculous. Wrote an angry letter to AM to say so.

9:40 AM  
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9:34 AM  

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