Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday Snippet

I'd been looking around the house for weeks for my old copy of this book. There are a lot of things I'm looking for these days, in fact. This one was easy to replace, the other things, not so much.  I ordered it used from Amazon and it arrived in perfect hardcover condition for the less than the price I paid for the paperback when it was first released as such.

It is a delicious book full of stories, autobiographical detail, myths, lore, poetry, recipes and sweet little paintings about food and its connection to anything and everything erotic and human. 

I will share with you an excerpt from the introduction. (I could not find the painting Allende chose for this section, so I substituted with one by Frida Kahlo.  Further note:  I saw the painting up-close and personal at Tate Modern in 2005. One of the highlights of my museum going adventures.)

 The fiftieth year of our life is like
         the last hour of dusk, 
when the sun has set and done turns
naturally toward reflection.
In my case, however, dusk incites me to sin,
and perhaps for that reason,
in my fiftieth year I find myself reflecting
on my relationship
with food and eroticism; the weaknesses
of the flesh that most tempt me are not, alas,
those I have practiced most.


  1. She does that so very well, doesn't she?:

    "...the weaknesses
    of the flesh that most tempt me are not, alas,
    those I have practiced most..."

    leading you along a way of thinking, an nicely building image and then ... suddenly turning around and ambushing you with a phrase which rocks your balance and has you going, "Wow!"

    Apart from anything else, I was fifty last year ... :-)

  2. Hi Francis - I turned 51 last year but it still feels like 50. :-)

    This is the first in a few installments of snippets from the book. I hope you continue to enjoy them.


  3. Stopping by and am I glad to have done so. Isabel Allende's work is wonderful - but this one I have not read. Onto the list it goes..... and that you have sneaked in a Frieda Kahlo - fantastic. I spent hours in the Tate Gallery in london just immersing myself in an exhibition of her work.

    This Sunday Snippet goes to the top of my list.

  4. "...the weaknesses
    of the flesh that most tempt me are not, alas,
    those I have practiced most..."

    Sums up the human condition!

  5. Now I'M lookin' for this book, too...

  6. I will give this a try. Allende is a genius. She is a lot of fun, too!

  7. Aguja - did that happen to be in 2005? I was at that exhibition, if it was! I'll connect with you through a comment on your blog.

    Sometimes I wonder if anyone even follows the comments. I personally find that task overwhelming, with all the blogs I read.

    SB - yes!!!

    Steve - you and your beloved will love it!

    Mama Zen - it has its advantages. Judging from the tiny wonderful things I know about you, I think you will enjoy fifty! I love home time you put in your puppy-girl! :-)

    Sandy - she is gifted! And this book is full of giggles and laughs. I relate to Allende a bit since I brought up among a cackle of Roman Catholic women! I suppose I am the Eva Luna of my family!

  8. Oh, and I forgot to mention that this theme of Isabel's - looking back from turning 50, is resonating with a lot of folks I'm talking to lately!

    I think to say it is bittersweet, would be too dramatic! But it is an interesting time in the ol' life span!

  9. Oh Gina, as you see, I try to follow the comments threads, at least where I've put in my tuppence ha'penny - though I once regretted subscribing to an e-mail feed after commenting on Allie Brosh's blog, which is absolutely brilliant, but also attracts literally hundreds of comments in the space of a few days!

    Personally, I'm enjoying the beginning of the sixth decade; there's a feeling of having come into somewhat calmer waters - though having said that, I suspect the Fates may be weaving and snipping a new surprise for me right at this moment!

    I keep coming back to that great phrase from John Lennon:
    "Life is what happens to you,
    while you're busy making other plans ..."

  10. Aaaah, thanks for following, Francis!

    I couldn't find the exact post on the Hyperbole and a Half but it looks fun. Wow. Over 400 readers. And if they are active readers, that would mean a lot of comments!

    Regarding the calmer waters of our age, yes calmer for me but I think will continue to be a bit heady all of my life! Oh, my poor children.... ;-)

  11. She's a fascinating woman who can write:

    I repent of my diets, the delicious dishes rejected out of vanity, as much as I lament the opportunities for making love that I let go by because of pressing tasks or puritanical virtue.

  12. I haven't stopped by for a while. I did today and it was the right day for sure!
    Food, I love food. It IS erotic. It is soothing and even though they tell us that by eating thismor that we are killing ourselves, there is nothing better in the world, or more healing, than sharing a great meal with people you love to be with. Yes, maybe more than sex itself. There, I said it.
    Good post. By the way, I'm going to be 62 soon. Way past 50. But I've felt this way for many years.
    Thanks for a great post.

  13. Susan - the whole book is delight. She's so brilliant and playful. I'm loving this read more than ever, as I am on the same plane as she now. It didn't resonate as much when I was a younger woman, though the recipes were fun to try!

    Spadoman!! You've been missed! Age and eroticim are not mutually exclusive. And food is always a delight, at any age.

  14. I had to jump over here after your comment on my post about the Alice Hoffman book.
    This looks very interesting. I'm very intrigued. I've put it on my "wish list."

    I haven't been able to visit my regular blogs like yours as much as I would like to lately.


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