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The Meal that Stopped a Suicide October 9, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary , trackback

As Beach soars out of his convalescence here is a modern nonsense post to enjoy from the immortal meals series. The problem is that Beach cannot be sure that this meal ever took place: given the loons involved it may just have been a Futurist fantasy. But where the likes of Marinetti and Fillìa are involved picnics on Venus are not out of the question.

11 May 1930 a friend a certain Giulio Onesti sent an urgent telegram to the Italian artist and provocateur Filippo Marinetti.

Dearest friend, since She departed forever have been wracked with tormenting anguish STOP immense sadness prevents my survival STOP beg you come immediately before arrival of the one who resembles her too much but not enough GIULIO

For those lucky enough not to have grown up in the strange demi world of futurist erotics Giuilio has lost a love – who we learn elsewhere had died in New York – and yet was about to be tormented by the arrival of another lover who was not the dead woman’s equal but who would, nevertheless, tempt him between the sheets. For reasons that escape Beachcombing this had pushed the poor man to the edge of suicide. But never fear: Marinetti, Fillìa and Prampolini are on their way to rescue their friend and they have determined to drive him out of  suicide with their cooking.

Readers of this blog with an impressive memory may vaguely recall the bizarre facts of futurist fun in the kitchen: everything from fried roses to phallic salami with eau d’cologne. However, on this occasion the boys are determined to limit themselves to cannibalism.

Enrico Prampolini cried: ‘Our ingenious hands need a hundred sacks of the following indispensable ingredients: chestnut flour, wheat flour, ground almonds, rye flour, cornmeal, cocoa powder, red pepper, sugar and eggs. Ten jars of honey, oil and milk. A quintal of dates and bananas… The servants immediately began to fetch great heavy sacks, emptying them into pyramidical heaps of yellow, white, black and red and transforming the kitchens into fantastic laboratories where enormous upturned saucepans on the floor changed into grandiose pedestals predisposed to supporting unpredictable statuary. ‘To work my aeorpainters and aerosculptors!’ said Marinetti. ‘My aeropoetry will ventilate your brains like whirring propellers.’

Quite. The Futurist cooks create 22 edible women – memories of a Margaret Atwood novel from when Beach used to read ‘serious’ fiction. It must have been something to see and Giulio vents his emotions on The Curves of the World and Their Secrets.

‘Kneeling before it he began like a lover to adore it with his lips, tongue and teeth. Searching and overturning the pretty little sugar palm tree like a ravenous tiger, he bit off and ate a sweet little foot skating on a cloud. At three that morning, with a terrible writhing of his loins, he bit into the dense heart-of-hearts of pleasure… At dawn he devoured the mammellary spheres of all mothers’ milk. When his tongue skimmed the long eyelashes that guarded the great jewels of her gaze, the clouds which had gathered swiftly over the lake suddenly loosed a violent orange thunderbolt whose long green rays tore through the reed beds a few metres from the armoury.

Fact or fiction? drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com Either way this is one of the most alarming things that Beachcombing has ever read: and this is someone who grew up on Charlie Brown. The quotation comes from Chronicle Books excellent English translation of the Futurist Cookbook now, sadly, long since out of print.