Carbonara, the ultimate hypertext? A post @NPR (and more @UniSG)

From the department of “food for thought”…

best-carbonara-recipeText, extratext, metatext, paratext… None intrigues me more than hypertext.

hypertext, text which does not form a single sequence and which may be read in various orders” (Oxford English Dictionary).

In 1997, critical theorist Gérard Genette, a giant among literary scholars, wrote:

“Our ‘media’ age has seen the proliferation of a type of discourse around texts that was unknown in the classical world and a fortiori in antiquity and the Middle Ages, when text often circulated in an almost raw condition, in the form of manuscripts devoid of any formula of presentation. I say an almost raw condition because the sole fact of transcription — but equally, of oral transmission — brings to the ideality of the text some degree of materialization, graphic or phonic.”

To Genette’s graphic or phonic, may we add gastronomic?

In my view, no culinary legacy embodies Genette’s notion of paratext and its child hypertext more than carbonara. The hypertext and Bloomian misunderstanding surrounding (and drowning out) this text are astounding imho.

I was really thrilled to be quoted as a UniSG professor this week in this excellent post on carbonara for “the salt” on NPR by Deena Prichep.

Carbonara as hangover food? The hypertext just keeps expanding in an infinite enogastronomic universe full of contamination, corruption, and coalescence.

BTW, the enrollment deadline for the Master’s in Food Culture and Communications at the University of Gastronomic Sciences (UniSG) in Piedmont, Italy is January 18. I’ll be teaching a seminar on English-Language food writing (in English) there this year. Carbonara and its hypertext will be one of the topics we will cover in depth.

Above: carbonara by Tracie P.

2 thoughts on “Carbonara, the ultimate hypertext? A post @NPR (and more @UniSG)

  1. Pingback: Apparently Jeremy Parzen does not object to the way he was quoted on NPR. https://dobianchi.com/2017/01/03/carbonara-origin-of-the-name/

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