Scribble, Scribble, Scribble: Writing on Politics, Ice Cream, Churchill, and My Mother Paperback – 3 Apr 2012
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|Paperback, 3 Apr 2012||
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In this passionate and provocative collection, the brilliant Simon Schama reveals his lighter, mo....
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Schama is above all a historian, so I shouldn't have been surprised to find his historical essays a little too scholarly for my short attention span. On the other hand, I enjoyed many of the pieces on movies and art. It was fun reading how director Martin Scorcese caught him off guard by citing Kind Hearts and Coronets as an inspiration for Goodfellas. Then Schama had to scramble to give himself a crash course in horror film history when Scorcese described his other inspirations over the years.
One thought-provoking essay was about Richard Avedon's photographs. Although the book includes some illustrations to go with the art essays, Schama talked about several photographs that weren't included. His descriptions were so vivid that I had to find the images online to see for myself. They really were fascinating, and now I have become an Avedon fan, thanks to Schama.
Schama mentioned a few times in his food essays that he used Julia Child's book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I just read a book of letters between Child and her friend and editor, Avis DeVoto (As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto), in which they discuss at length the details of the book that Child was writing. The idea was to translate French recipes into recipes that would work in American kitchens with ingredients available in America using American appliances. Schama, cooking in an English kitchen, must have had to translate the recipes yet again to accommodate English ingredients and appliances. I can imagine how many ways this could have gone wrong, but Schama seems to have succeeded.
Schama manages to be educational, infuriating, amusing, thought-provoking, and just plain interesting. Recommended!
Schama was selected as the honored guest at the fifth annual Kenyon Review Literary Festival.He was the recipient of the 2011 Kenyon Review Award for Literay Achievement.