➽ [Reading] ➿ The Rituals of Dinner By Margaret Visser ➲ – Thisbookse.co

The Rituals of Dinner summary The Rituals of Dinner, series The Rituals of Dinner, book The Rituals of Dinner, pdf The Rituals of Dinner, The Rituals of Dinner 003be95863 With An Acute Eye And An Irrepressible Wit, Margaret Visser Takes A Fascinating Look At The Way We Eat Our Meals From The Ancient Greeks To Modern Yuppies, From Cannibalism And The Taking Of The Eucharist To Formal Dinners And Picnics, She Thoroughly Defines The Eating Ritual


10 thoughts on “The Rituals of Dinner

  1. says:

    This is where I found out about exo and endo cannibals one kind eats his enemies, the other kind eats his friends , and the French Fourteenths did a dinner guest cancel leaving you with an unlucky thirteen guests Call up a Fourteenth , and so much great cocktail party fodder One of the fascinating books I think I ve ever read, backed by a convincing argument that we d all eat each other given the chance.


  2. says:

    Fascinating survey of manners, etiquette, and polite behavior from across the globe More of an anthropological venture than a straight history If you re not exceedingly interested in the query of why we do the things that we do, this probably isn t the book for you.


  3. says:

    Perhaps a bit dated first published in 1991 , this sweeping overview of the history of table manners, across cultures and across time, nevertheless retains charm and insight It catches your attention with an opening chapter on the cultural rules of cannibalism in the different societies that practiced it This is followed by a chapter on how children and novitiates are socialized into correct etiquette in all cultures, and then the basic steps of all feasting or dinner gatherings are overviewed in turn the invitation process, the presentation and serving of the meal, the appropriate way to consume it, the manner of formally finishing the procedure and bidding the hosts adieu The Canadian author draws heavily on Classical and European history with a target focus on late 20th century North American dinner manners, but certainly brings in many examples and anecdotes from the Near East, the Far East, Africa, and Oceania as well She has a tendency to often show how the etymological origin of words and terms associated with food and dining are related to archetypes, myths, and earlier traditions, and she seems fluent and knowledgable in many different languages past and present, so those interested in linguistics or cultural anthropology will especially enjoy this book As the postscript reveals and her very diverse collection of evidence substantiates, a driving component of so much of dining etiquette in all cultures is related to perceptions of gender role distinctions, binary duality fundamentals of belief systems, and basic fears of loneliness and death being assuaged by the ceremony of civilization You probably won t retain all the bits of knowledge here but you re bound to find some intriguing explanations for many things you have taken for granted in your own code of etiquette or have wondered about in the behaviors of other cultures you have experienced Plus, you ll be well armed with all kinds of small talk trivia from history and anthropology the next time you find yourself seated across from a dining companion and struggling to come up with a conversation starter So, Cheersand bon appetit


  4. says:

    Visser starts with cannibalism, and from there, follows the development of meals and their accoutrements, as well as the social behaviours that allow us to eat together Visser writes with both detail and touches of humour, providing a very sound basis for exploring the topic further An extensive notes bibliography section is provided, as well as an index.Overall, a wonderfully detailed look at how and why we eat, in terms of sociology human relationships I read the majority of this in a medical facility waiting room nothing too serious it kept my attention in a distracting environment despite the fussy grandchildren and the socially backwards guy who kept trying to engage anyone everyone in conversation, Visser led me thru medieval feasting halls, Greek symposia and Japanese tea ceremonies with grace and wit.


  5. says:

    A fascinating look at an endlessly fascinating subject to me at least the origins of dinner table manners One thing that I found particularly interesting as a mother is the comparison between etiquette and healthy eating Here, Visser compared the French family table with the American the American family will pressure kids to eat their vegetables because it s healthy French children are taught to sample a little bit of everything simply because that is what is polite It seems to be attainable to learn to be polite than to learn something as vague as to eat healthy French kids end up sampling a wider variety of foods which in turn is a healthy way to eat And it all starts with table manners.There is so much I learned from this book I ll have to revisit this review later.


  6. says:

    I picked this book up at the library book sale, knowing nothing about it, and I am so glad I did Margaret Visser, a professor at the University of Toronto, provides a delightful tour through the history of table manners, from ancient Greece to 20th century North America I especially loved her meaningful reflections on culture and how we form it and how it forms us Her style is meandering, and she seems to find it difficult to focus on one topic, but I liked her vast, wandering approach, and it seemed fitting for the subject matter Recommended for casual history buffs and students of human culture.


  7. says:

    There is a wonderful wealth of information here about the evolution and rationale of table manners throughout history For that I definitely recommend it One particularly neat aspect being the frequent tidbits about the parallel evolution of linguistics, and idioms in particular Though it offers a bit less on contemporary table manners and current differences around the world than one might expect But the book has some notable problems I found the constant use of first person pronouns to make vast generalizations we choose , our disgust , etc quite alienating and kept wondering who she was talking to about, as it was never clarified Is this we representative of all humans That s fairly easily contradicted, especially within a book focusing on the different ways in which cultures approach food If the we refers solely to Western audiences, it seems rather condescending we versus them And even that would make no sense when, again, even in the Western world differences abound between countries and regions and social groups.The other issue with her writing is a penchant for repetition that makes the first and last few chapters particularly tedious In those she introduces and concludes the themes of the book but without really synthesizing and could have really used the help of an editor to cut out at least 50 pages Finally, there is an attempt to make it seem as if this is an exhaustive look at global rituals around food but than once subjects are introduced and then dropped with no explanation, with paragraphs like these serving as placeholders Toothpicks, fairly successfully banished in England and America, have never been entirely rejected from the European Continent it would be interesting to know just who uses them today, when, and what the strictures are Well, yes, now that you bring it up, it WOULD be interesting But immediately after that sentence she segues into other subjects leaving that ridiculous wouldn t it be great if someone actually looked into this dangling there with no further follow up No book can cover every detail and this one goes into interesting depth on a lot of topics but this kind of writing makes it feel incomplete despite the huge amount of information it DOES contain.It is still worth reading despite the stylistic flaws It s just not as enjoyable as it could have been My final impression was that if a better author had taken this exact information and done a better job of actually writing it, I could have given this book an enthusiastic five stars.


  8. says:

    Didn t make it past page 30 of this dull repetitive book.


  9. says:

    I love cooking, and love cooking for others This is a fascinating exploration of how and why we share food with one another Visser digs into many of the rituals, traditions and taboos we take for granted and examines their underpinnings and development It made me think a lot of about why I like sharing food with others, and how we divide people based on food choice and table manners.I also love gathering trivia, and this book is EXCELLENT for that Do you know the difference between meals served a la francaise and a la russe Did you know that people used to keep dogs for the purpose of eating the bones and waste food thrown on the floor Did you know that one culture used to irrevocably divorce by breaking the family cooking pots Did you know the difference between endo and ex0 cannibalism I m giving this four stars because I might have wished for a slightly stronger through line argument or conclusion, but this was fascinating and I d recommend it to anyone who likes to cook and eat in groups, or is interested in why we do the things we take for granted at the table.


  10. says:

    Visser s The Rituals of Dinner is definitely one of the most scholarly works I ve read on food and eating It is, quite simply, a sweeping survey of the rules and customs that govern our behaviour at the table from why we have rituals and customs in the first place, the different rules that govern what we eat, when we eat, how we eat, with whom we eat, etc It s challenging to give a sense of how broad the scope of Visser s book is it s all in here from cannibalism to chopsticks, carving that section was a great deal of fun to read to vomiting, the dinner service to the dinner sequence.At 357 pages, it took me a while to make it through the book The scholarly approach makes it heavy going in some parts but the book is scattered with interesting nuggets that make the journey worthwhile Like for much of history, scent was thought essential to festivity partly but by no means entirely because crowds of people quickly smell rank , and incense and perfume were especially appreciated at dinner Ancient Egyptian frescoes show us dinner guests with large cones of scented fat fixed to the tops of their heads these were designed to melt during the feast, and drizzle deliciously down over the diners faces and bodies Or Confusing as it seems to us at first sight, the words host and guest originally mean the same thing They both derive from Indo European ghosts, stranger This is the origin of the Latin hosts, which meant stranger and therefore enemy from it English derives the word hostile What this single term refers to is not so much the individual people, the host and the guest, as the bond that unites them Or The phrase pot luck was originally used when inviting someone to a very informal family dinner, on the spur of the moment The visitor was to expect nothing specially prepared, but only what the family would have eaten that day in any case The guest s luck lay in what day he or she happened to arrive and what meal had been prepared for the family The phrase has changed its meaning with the increasing popularity of meals or parties where the guests come with contributions of food the luck now lies in the uncertainty about what everyone will bring For anyone who s interested in a substantive look at the food we eat and the culture surrounding it.


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