Lasso Round the Moon (3)

One of Nietzsche’s ambitions is to give life a more richly secular meaning. Instead of losing our intellect in deep space blind, i.e., in theological musings about the nature and existence of god, as well as in sweeping moral judgments about life, which he regards as “stupidities,” Nietzche urges readers to pay careful attention to the things that are closest to us. Things like place and climate (Nietzsche migrated with the seasons), diet and exercise (he ate bread and drank tea for breakfast, and often philozophized while walking in the mountains), and literature and classical music (he loved Montaigne, Wagner, and Beethoven). One of the delights of regional literature is descriptions of the simple things in life. Like Nietzsche, Mykle believes that food is enormously important for human happiness. “There is more of God in a well-roasted suckling pig than in a newly turned harmonium.” And if hot, greasy pig doesn’t sate your hunger, there’s a hell of a lot more in Mykle’s kitchen, you
carnivore, you.

There were long dishes of slices of cold meat, red roast beef, pale veal, thin slices of reddish brown smoked venison, speckled sausages, brawn and liver paste. There was smoked eel and smoked salmon, herring swimming in slices of chalky onion and peppercorns as black as night, herring in dill sauce, in wine sauce, in tomato sauce, and there was caviar. There were big cheeses and small cheeses, brown and yellow and white; there was Italian salad, Russian salad, shrimp salad, and herring salad topped with slices of beetroot and hardboiled egg; there were pickles and sausage in tall brown glasses and yellow pyramids of butter sweating cold tears on little plates.

So sumptuous that even a vegan would rejoice!


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