Better Late Than Never: Page 123

After being tagged by the delectable Maîtresse with this literary meme – and accepting enthusiastically – I promptly forgot all about it until now, as I sit, eating toasted bagels with Nutella (try it!) and nursing a hangover, on the sofa at Rhino75 Towers. So, as I’m sure you’ve all been on tenterhooks (my italics) over my response, here goes. Given that this is supposed to be a literary exercise, I’m tempted to exclude the first book to hand, Lindsey Bareham’s excellent “In Praise of the Potato” but the answer is too good to ignore:

“Potato Soup Garnished With Lobster – Not, as you might expect, a fancy nouvelle cuisine recipe but an old British one as unearthed by Theodora Fitzgibbon in her Art of British Cooking. The end result is a rich, creamy, thick soup which is incredibly luxurious and well worth the expense of lobster. Shrimps make a good cheap substitute.”

Don’t they always? And isn’t Theodora Fitzgibbon a fantastic name? Tremendous. But, of course, I can hear you asking, is it , strictly speaking, literature? Probably not. Which brings me to page 123, five sentences down, of the second book in the coffee table pile:

“‘Please, General, as if I would,’ answered the captain, his nose redder than ever. He smiled, and his smile showed that his two front teeth were missing – they had been knocked out by a rifle-butt at Izmail. ‘Oh, and tell Dolokhov to rest easy – I shan’t forget him.'”

Now, I don’t think that anyone would deny this bears at least some of the hallmarks – missing teeth, a rifle-butt – of great literature. But from which magnum opus does it come? OK, it’s not much of a quiz but, if you’ve got nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon, or a Monday morning or whenever you’re reading this, shoot me a comment with the answer. In the meantime, I shall in turn throw down the meme gauntlet to the lovely Nardac, Tin Foiled and Meg Le Blagueur. The rules are simple: Turn to page 123, count down five sentences and copy out the next three. Who dares wins!! (??)

7 responses to “Better Late Than Never: Page 123

  1. As I understood the challenge, it was page 123 of the book you are currently reading, literary or not. Besides the recipe for the Potato-Lobster soup is intriguing. Now I have to find either the book, the recipe or both.

  2. Thanks for popping my cherry, Rhino – this was my first meme ever!

  3. well I’m not as up on my russians as I ought to be but I do believe that to be from that lark of a novel war and peace.
    that was fun!

  4. And the prize goes to…Maitresse – Well done!! I’m not as up on my Russians as I ought to be either, which is why I’m rereading it, but because it’s such a brick, it spends most of its time snuggled up next to “In Praise of the Potato”. 🙂 Starman, There’s not much to the recipe, I’ll send it to you because you’re right, it does sound rather tasty. Meg, they say you always remember your first time….

  5. by the by, badaude is doing a little art project with matthew rose base don our meme game! if you want to take part, go here:

  6. Merci de recette, monsieur.

  7. Oy, I finally finished it. Homework on a Sunday, some things just never change. Mwah!

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