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September 24, 2005

Sometimes it's OK to judge a book by its cover


Like the one pictured above: you just know it's going to be good.

Certainly one of my top ten epigrams is this, from Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray": "It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances."

Aldo Buzzi is one of Italy's most accomplished, versatile men.

Now 95, he has been, among other things, an essayist, architect, screenwriter and indefatigable world traveler.

In this small (about 5" x 7", 150 pages) volume he reflects on meals, flavors, cooking, recipes, and all manner of other things, seasoning his book with memories of people, places and things that have caught his fancy for one reason or another.

Anecdotes, observations, named dropped shamelessly and unabashedly, this and that.

The book has line drawings by Saul Steinberg, who met Buzzi in architecture school in Milan in the 1930s and remained close friends with him until Steinberg died in 1999 at age 85.

Buzzi once wrote, "The writer who never talks about eating, about appetite, hunger, food, about cooks and meals, arouses my suspicion, as though some vital element were missing in him."

The book retails for $16.95 and costs $11.53 at amazon.

September 24, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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