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October 2010

Odd Couple Stories

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One of my favorite books as a child was The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde. I still have my original copy. It’s loosely illustrated with nice areas of blank space (which “child-me” filled in with crayon scribbles). I love how much personality there is in every stroke of Herbert Danska’s pen. I love his use of blue!

Reading it again today I was struck by the underlying Christian symbolism, but I was also reminded that what I’ve always loved about the book is the elegant visual play on the boy’s smallness and the giant’s largeness. It’s a true odd couple book and I’ve always loved stories that make friends of unlikely companions.

On the topic of utensils, kitchens, food…

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One of the best courses I took during my undergraduate degree (in Fine Art) was a course called The Anthropology of Food. I still remember reading books on: table manners, commensality (a fancy word for the practice of eating from the same plate), famine, housewives, whaling, the green revolution….and the list goes on. Basically, I learned that EVERY issue can somehow be traced back to food or water. What an eye opener!

Well, my friend Andrea Curtis is doing an amazing job of discussing food culture and politics on her blog What’s for Lunch? Unlike some people I know (me), she is actually very good at keeping her blog updated. It’s worth having a look. As she puts is: “This blog travels the globe peering into the lunch boxes, bowls, mugs and trays of kids around the world.”