Monday, September 29, 2008

It's like that

AA Gill reviews the Spanish restaurant El Bulli, in The Sunday Times:

Food on paper is only ever an approximation of food in the mouth, and it relies on a shared experience, and if you haven’t eaten here, you haven’t had the experience.

Well, yes... but by that reasoning, isn't all criticism essentially pointless?

5 comments:

oyebilly said...

But the function of the critic is to convey the experience of the food/music/whatever.

Chris said...

Reading criticism is an experience itself, though. Of sorts.

And, behind all that postmodern stuff you often allude to, isn't there an assumption that reality is made from words?

In what sense is something which can't be conveyed in language real at all?

All food is quite useless.

realdoc said...

Especially lard covered cherries

FirstNations said...

true, but the criticism in that case is exactly equal to the subject under discussion. the poor reviewer could have gotten more substance out of discussing how someone gets away with marketing some of the crap el bulli foists off on its clientele as 'post-nouvelle high-end dining'.

(btw my son desperately wants to read your book! ok if i lend him my copy or does baby need a new pair of shoes?;) )

Tim Footman said...

True, Billy. But can any critic really do that? I suppose there are two types of critic: the type that help you to decide whether you want to see a film/read a book, etc; and the type who help you to understand or interpret what you've just seen/read, etc. Restaurant critics tend to be in the first group - maybe AA would like to be in the second. The first culinary literary critic...

Chris: Writing about food is as pointless as cooking about words.

RD: Oh Lordy, the dry heaves are starting...

FN: Yeah, bung him yours. Splinters in the feet are character-forming.