Coffee, Sausage, Beer

… or The Nom-Nom Reader der Zweite.

Have just finished reading Stasiland, by Anna Funder – astonishing stories of long, dull nightmares whose closeness and recency deny the typical misted horizons of history; interviews with haunted lives, bruised souls.

Is it okay to mention too that it gave me a real appetite for coffee and sausage and beer?

As well, see?

I’ve posted previously about how I get all hot and hungry on encountering food in literature. I’m not a gobbling fool, I don’t act on these salivations, much, although I could stand to lose (in American parlance) a coupla pounds and lighten up on the carbs already.

What folk are noshing in books is of genuine interest to me – a What Are You Having For Tea? that’s okay to think about in bed. And okay to think about in parallel with the cor-blimey thrust of the book.

I am terrifically moved by Anna Funder’s presentation of accounts of a people caught, trapped, in that ‘forty year experiment’, the decay and implosion of time and space and hope; a presentation haunting in itself, as palely alien a spirit as she appears to be in and about the memories of that ghost-world.

And I also love the notion of the occasional wurst and the coffees she grabs and the beers that flow the whole history through. Recently in Berlin I have the recent tastes in mind, fresh recall too of a Stasi museum visit.

I’ll admit the dual focus is a little Alan Partridge-esque (or the Seinfeld storyline of making out at a screening of Schindler’s List), and the TV-series pitch that comes with – Cooking the Books, or Eat the Author, the book-review-cookery-show crossover – is more BBC Three than Four, but ultimately, readers, it doesn’t lessen or negate a book if I remember it also for the sausages it serves along the way.

Words and picture and TV-pitch © Steve Mitchell, Fisher Lane, 2012

About Stevie Mitchell

I come from a long line of cartoons and beer. I was once peed on by a tiger. Hoping the resultant super-powers are yet to come, cos if these are they, then, grrrr....
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