Monday, June 02, 2008

Asparagus Love


But what delighted me were the asparagus, steeped in ultramarine, and pink, whose tips, delicately, painted, with little strokes of mauve and azure, shade off imperceptibly down to their feet--still soiled though they are from the dirt of their garden bed--with an iridescence that is not of this earth. It seemed to me that these celestial hues revealed the delicious creatures who had merrily metamorphosed themselves into vegetables and who, through the disguise of their firm, edible flesh, disclosed in these early tints of dawn, in these beginnings of rainbows, in this extinction of blue evenings, the precious essence that I recognized again when, all night long following a dinner at which i had eaten them, they played, in farces as crude and poetic as a fairy play by Shakespeare, at changing my chamber pot into a jar of perfume.

~ Marcel Proust, Swann's Way [translated by Lydia Davis]



Asparagus inspires gentle thoughts.

~ Charles Lamb

9 comments:

the duck thief said...

Damn Proust can write! And about asparagus no less.

He's on my BTRBID list but I haven't read anything by him yet. I had the chance to buy "In Search of Lost Time" but it looked intimidating and I still had library books to finish.

Dark Orpheus said...

duck thief don't let Proust intimidate you. I thought so too, for years, until I picked up in search of lost time about 2 years ago - and it was wonderful.

Okay, there were times when the narrator really got on my nerves - but that's because the character was whiny and a self-absorbed prig.

GFS3 said...

Lay asparagus in tin foil. Dribble with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Wrap loosely and then grill until slightly browned.

Delicious.

Bybee said...

I've got to try Proust again...I did about 15 years ago & he just didn't take. I might be ready now.

Dark Orpheus said...

gfs3 Ah. That sounds ery do-able - and I can imagine the taste of the asparagus. Thanks! :)

Bybee Sometimes it could just be the translation that didn't work for the reader. Lydia Davis's translation for Swann's Way was very readable.

stefanie said...

I love it! And what a great picture you found to go along with it.

Dark Orpheus said...

Stefanie Isn't the picture wonderful? I love the colours of the different varieties of asparagus.

But the white asparagus sometimes look a little too phallic for my liking.

gartenfische said...

I love asparagus! (I'm not sure, though, about the jar of perfume---not in my chamber pot. Asparagus brings on a strong odor, but it's not one I would douse myself in!)

Dark Orpheus said...

gartenfische I have to be careful answering this, because it might suggest some "quirks" of mine. ;)

Nut i like the "perfume" of it sometimes, after lunch. It reminds me: "Hmm...I had asparagus for lunch today."