Thursday, May 21, 2009

Top 10 fruit scenes in literature

Adam Leith Gollner is the author of The Fruit Hunters : A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce and Obsession.

For the Guardian, he named his top 10 fruit scenes in literature.

One title on his list:
The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh

"This rendition comes to you by courtesy of Kaiser's Stoneless Peaches. Remember no other peach now marketed is perfect and completely stoneless. When you buy Kaiser's Stoneless Peach you are buying full weight of succulent peach flesh and nothing else."

Fruit as existential crisis. This radio advertisement precipitates the suicide of Aimee Thanatogenos, the triangulated loved one in Waugh's California tragicomedy. Aimee, a cosmetic mortician, is overwhelmed by the futility of modern life. Spurning the advances of a Dennis Barlow, a young poet admirer, she has agreed to marry the dour embalmer Mr Joyboy, an Oedipal wreck in thrall to his mother. As empty as a Kaiser's Stoneless Peach, Aimee kills herself. Waugh's cynical notion of a stoneless peach's putative perfection also foreshadowed the empty promises of today's fruit marketing – from unripe, puckeringly bitter cranberries sold as "all natural, fully ripened, white cranberries" to apples dunked in artificial-grape-flavored bird repellent and branded as "Grapples."
Read about the other nine titles on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue