26 June 2006

Nietzsche & food

In the New Yorker, Woody Allen finds Nietzsche's long-lost cookbook.
To sum up: apart from my own Beyond Good and Evil Flapjacks and Will to Power Salad Dressing, of the truly great recipes that have changed Western ideas Hegel’s Chicken Pot Pie was the first to employ leftovers with meaningful political implications.

Not the most hilarious thing. But I remembered some other Nietzchean food-related items I'd seen on the Internet. The Onion ran a story about a Nietzschean Diet.
a new English translation of Germany's most popular diet book takes the concept to a new philosophical level. The Nietzschean diet, which commands its adherents to eat superhuman amounts of whatever they most fear, is developing a strong following in America.

Of course, the Unemployed Philosophers Guild has the infamous Will To Power Bar.
When your Wille zur macht is a flagging or you're just a little tired of transvaluating all values, these will help!

I found also a real cookbook, The Food and Cooking of Eastern Europe, which is written by Lesley Chamberlain. She happens to have written another book called Nietzche in Turin, which, as the title suggests, is about Nietzsche.

I'm not sure about this Nietzsche-food connection. I've not read too much Nietzsche: Only Beyond Good and Evil and the Genealogy of Morals. I remember my professor, Maudemarie Clark, saying that BGE was a direct response to Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. It's a lot more fun to read BGE, 'natch. I think a lot of desire and ritual surrounds the consumption of food. There seem to be certain cultural nodes that get lighted up by food.

Given media and culture's obsession with obesity/thinness, it's not hard to ascribe to food a mythic status. The diachronic study of our food culture seems like an interesting topic. The ironic juxtaposition of food for morality just signals a retransmission of our core cultural values. One could append a food chapter to the Genealogy, maybe.

Of course, Denis Johnson tackles Nietzsche pretty well in his book Already Dead. (Highly recommended, the book brings together northern California hippie-burnout culture and a Nietzschean zombie-villain.)
But Nietzsche's wrong. -Of course he's wrong. How could anybody with five successive consonants in his name be right?