Friday, December 14, 2007

A little ox

Jan Dalley lunches with Umberto Eco for the FT:
There will be nothing to write in the menu box on this page, he says as we sit down – he has no appetite. So he will just have a lobster. (He has glanced at the menu for a matter of seconds.) Could he have it, he asks the maitre d’, cooked with no oil or butter? Impossible, comes the dignified reply: it would burn. Garlic? There follows a brief comedy of miscomprehension that would easily be solved if they spoke to each other in the native tongue they clearly have in common; they don’t. Water comes, and Eco says he will have a large whisky (doctor’s orders: there is no sugar in whisky).

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