Sunday, April 4, 2010

Law of Diminishing Returns

"We are always in danger of overeating, if only because we cannot escape from the idea that if one portion gives pleasure, two portions will give twice as much pleasure and four portions twice as much again. Alternatively, we imagine that the delight of the first mouthful - or first drink - is infinitely repeatable. Even when we have direct sensory experience to the contrary, we cannot be disabused of this seductive idea. Sometimes the search is less for repeatable pleasure than for an imagined pleasure that eludes us. We eat a second orange in the hope that we shall this time taste the warm sunlight it promises, feel the color orange in the mouth rather than the slightly acid sweetness we crush out of the slices as they die between our teeth, our palate and our tongue. The pleasure may be entirely in the idea - in the anticipation. I remember as a child looking forward all day to the Sunday evening roast dinner, my anticipation being wound up by the delicious aroma pervading the house, and then finding the pleasure I had looked forward to proving curiously elusive. Each mouthful was a mini-disappointment, that sent me on to the next mouthful in pursuit of the experience that eluded me. For Gustave Flaubert this was at the root of his commitment to art: 'wine has a taste unknown to those who drink it'. Taste can be savored only through art."
Raymond Tallis Hunger pg 54


Blue Butterfly said...

So, so true.

Anonymous said...

This is so unbelievably perfect! I'm writing a short story about an EDNOS-afflicted character named Orange... ugh, I can't get over how perfect it is!

Ancora said...

Mm yes good quote. And I didn't send you emails sorrysorrysorry.

One day. Feel free to steal anything off my blog anyway:)

Anonymous said...

Wow. Amen. Best quote thus far.

Anonymous said...

i want to read this book and i cant because im in fucking china. grr.

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