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Gogol and the Chowhound Ethos

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  • awl Nov 10, 2006 08:43 PM
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The following description found in Gogol's Dead Souls encapsulates the Chowhound ethos:

"In this connection the author feels
bound to confess that the appetite and the capacity of such men are
greatly to be envied. Of those well-to-do folk of St. Petersburg and
Moscow who spend their time in considering what they shall eat on the
morrow, and in composing a dinner for the day following, and who never
sit down to a meal without first of all injecting a pill and then
swallowing oysters and crabs and a quantity of other monsters, while
eternally departing for Karlsbad or the Caucasus, the author has but a
small opinion. Yes, THEY are not the persons to inspire envy.
Rather, it is the folk of the middle classes--folk who at one
posthouse call for bacon, and at another for a sucking pig, and at a
third for a steak of sturgeon or a baked pudding with onions, and who
can sit down to table at any hour, as though they had never had a meal
in their lives, and can devour fish of all sorts, and guzzle and chew
it with a view to provoking further appetite--these, I say, are the
folk who enjoy heaven's most favoured gift. To attain such a celestial
condition the great folk of whom I have spoken would sacrifice half
their serfs and half their mortgaged and non-mortgaged property, with
the foreign and domestic improvements thereon, if thereby they could
compass such a stomach as is possessed by the folk of the middle
class. But, unfortunately, neither money nor real estate, whether
improved or non-improved, can purchase such a stomach.

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  1. Thanks for the nice post.