Mythologizing Food: Marion Halligan’s non-fiction

Ulla Rahbek

Abstract


This paper discusses Marion Halligan’s non-fiction, particularly her writing on food: Those Women who go to Hotels, Eat my Words, Cockles of the Heart, Out of the Picture, and The Taste of Memory. The focus is on how Halligan deconstructs and reconstruct a mythology of food, in a Barthesian sense, revealing the contradictions at the heart of food mythology. The texts lay bare Halligan’s own personal and at times idiosyncratic mythology of food, where food is much more that just that. Venturing into areas of autobiography, memory, travel, place and gardens, this paper discusses how Halligan’s mythologizing of food doubles up, especially in her most recent food writing, as a rethinking and celebration of suburbia, which is figured as a site where nature and culture meet, and where paradise can be regained.

Keywords


Marion Halligan; Roland Barthes; mythology; non-fiction; food; memory; suburbia; paradise

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1344/co20115206-214

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