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The Duchess of Malfi's Apricots, and Other Literary Fruits


The Duchess of Malfi's Apricots, and Other Literary Fruits Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What is the powerful cultural significance of mangoes to contemporary Hispanic American writers? How does the strange sex life of figs relate to literature? Why are bananas the humorous fruit par excellence, and how are grapefruits anomalous among the citruses?<P>Literary episodes featuring fruit are pervasive across genre and cultural tradition, occurring in the Bible, modern and contemporary literature, and everywhere in between. Robert Palter provides a meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated account of this phenomenon. The Duchess of Malfi's Apricots, and Other Literary Fruits is a lively and far-ranging investigation of the way fruit has been used in literature to express the entire gamut of human experience. The visual arts — including sculpture, painting, and calligraphy — are also richly represented, with some fifty illustrations, most of them in color.<P>The depth of Palter's research is evident in the stunning variety of texts he examines. Citing hundreds of examples from some two dozen languages, Palter discusses everything from novels, short stories, and lyric poems to nursery rhymes, fairy tales, movie scripts, and opera librettos. All foreign-language texts are quoted in English, often rendered by distinguished translators. The author's own genial and informed voice sets the tone for a lively conversation about the significance of literary fruit. Concise explanations of relevant horticulture and plant physiology are presented in a manner convincing for the specialist but also readily accessible to general readers. This delightful book offers an engaging and thoroughly documented journey through literary and art history in its survey of the surprisinglyintricate and evocative variety of references to fruit.


Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index.

Table of Contents

Apples — Figs — Missing fruit — Strawberries (and cream) — Plums — The flowering plum : a Chinese interlude — Peaches, mangoes, and other juicy fruits — Bananas — Apricots : ripe and unripe — Pits and seeds — Medlars : the ripe and the rotten — Pomegranates — Quinces and pears — Pineapples — Citrus fruits — Melons — Cherries — Grapes — Wine — Orchards, groves, gardens — Fruit : conjoined and disjoined — Enemies and friends of fruit — Berries.

Product Details

Palter, Robert
University of South Carolina Press
Semiotics & Theory
Fruit in literature
Literary Criticism : General
Series Volume:
no. 2
Publication Date:
10.46x7.38x2.23 in. 3.99 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

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