The Undersea Carnival Procession of the Fatted Ox by J.J. Grandville
Despite its long denouncement as a deadly sin, gluttony is something I take great pleasure in. Friend, there are few delights more enjoyable than the feel of a throat filled past capacity, pressed every which way from within by a grotesquely large chunk of thick bread. It is something to revel in when one has full access to and disposal of a knife, and yet refrains from mutilating a knot of spaghetti, preferring, instead, to choke the meal down. Some speak of savoring the deliciousness of every bite-- I say the full joy of food is not savored a bit in taking bites. Rather it can only be realized when the gullet is overflowing even as it strains to gulp down an unbitten mass, or, oftener, a mass so little masticated that it would be easy to call it unbitten. The flavor remains the same, and can be as extensively savored in a sudden guzzling as in a dainty nibbling.
And such a wide variety of foods there are to be devoured in such a manner! Of course, I, being a separate and sovereign human being, have my own preferred foods to swallow, and, hereunder shall attempt to explain which I enjoy and why.
"...put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite."
Thus I wrote in a letter at 1:29 PM on the twenty-first of April, 1997. It's true. Not utterly consistent, as I occasionally am not in the mood for such salty fare, but true. Fish isn't always my cup of tea, but at times sardines do entertain me.
"I only sacrifice to myself -- to the gods never -- and to this belly of
mine, the greatest of all the gods."
Another of my letters, this one dated Saturday, March the first, 1997. Among my most beloved of cuisines is that of the German people. They're not afraid of pickled cabbage, or pumpernickel, or pork. It's a real treat to crack half-charred sausage skins, afire with mustard, with dull teeth and pushing tongue. Then the ground flesh within is freed, and allowed passage to the tunnel of the gullet. It rules.
"Sine Cerere et Libero friget Venus"
[Without Ceres and Bacchus, Venus freezes]
"A big man is always accused of gluttony, whereas a wizened or osseous man
can eat like a refugee at every meal, and no one ever notices his greed."
--Robertson Davies, The Table Talk of Samuel Marchbanks
"Like ane wi' thirstie appetite
Quha swalloweth orange pulp,
Wes hearde a huggle an a bite,
A swallow an a gulp."
--Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), Ye Fattale Cheyse
"They Gave Him Bread and Butter" by Lewis Carroll, from "Lays of Sorrow".
Brazilians eating human flesh
"...I swar ter Gawd thet picter begun to make me hungry fer victuals I
couldn't raise nor buy--here, set still, what's ailin' ye?--I didn't do
nothin', only I wondered haow 'twud be ef I did--They say meat makes
blood an' flesh an' gives ye new life, so I wondered ef 'twudn't make a man live
longer an' longer ef 'twas more the same--"
--H. P. Lovecraft, "The Picture in the House"
"My parents are all dead, and they have left me but a small pension, and
that buys me thirty meals a day. Now Faustus..., wilt thou bid me to dinner?"
--Gluttony (from Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe)