Saturday, June 13, 2009

"Nectarine Fruits"

At the Guardian, John Mullan offers a list of ten of the best pieces of fruit in English literature. It is curious, either I am an extreme fruit-lover (it is possible!) or else a lot of very good literature is about fruit - the first four on his list are indeed four of my particular favorite works in all of English literature, and I endlessly as a child reread the abridged version of Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market" as illustrated by Ellen Raskin. Here is Mullan, in any case, on that strange and appealing poem:
Luscious fruit bring some strange sexual perdition in Rossetti's beautifully weird verse fairy tale: "Crab-apples, dewberries ... / Dates and sharp bullaces, / Rare pears and greengages, / Damsons and bilberries, / Taste them and try". There are more varieties in the first paragraph of this poem than anywhere in Eng. lit.
(Illustration taken from this site.)


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  2. I wish Ellen Raskin had been around to illustrate the essay on the arobase that you linked to last month; she did amazing stuff with the asterisk in The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel).