‘Gnawed Bones’ and ‘Artless Tales’ — Eating and Narrative in Conrad

  • Tony Tanner


In his preface to his wife’s Handbook of Cookery for a Small House Conrad states that of all the books ever written ‘those only that treat of cooking are, from a moral point of view, above suspicion. The intention of every other piece of prose may be discussed and even mistrusted; but the purpose of a cookery book is one and unmistakable. Its object can conceivably be no other than to increase the happiness of mankind.’ The tone throughout the short preface is appropriately light, even jocular. But in view of my topic I want to take note of a potentially far-reaching point that Conrad makes.


Sexual Drive Wrong Thing Account Book Human Flesh Central Scene 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1976

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  • Tony Tanner

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