De gustibo non est disputandum – there is no disputing about taste, as the saying claims. On the contrary.
The course explores the manifold representations of the experience of tasting food in English literature since the early modern period. While the majority of accounts of aesthetic history neglect the gustatory aspect of taste the course aims at a literary history of taste in all its full-bodied flavor with its epistemological and moral implications. What writers, such as Milton, Swift, Boswell, Beeton or Woolf, negociate is the creative power of taste as a trope for aesthetic judgement and its essential role in generating our sense of self.
The Lektürekurs will focus on „gusto“ in terms of the writing of cookbooks as a cultural arena of the practice of aesthetics, i.e. beyond our hopes merely to learn how to get the best boeuf bourguignonne or Yorkshire pudding done for our next dinner party.