food and the power of myth

The power of myth – marketing first and second stage baby foods by association with a “Mediterranean” myth (abstract)


A veces unos pájaros, un caballo, han salvado las ruinas de un anfiteatro.
Jorge Luis Borges, Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius (1940)

In Borges’ doubly imagined world of Tlön, ideas can become corporeal in the physical world, only to whither away when they cease to be perceived, forgotten, or are abandoned. The ultimate instance of this phenomenon on Tlön is described above: “Sometimes, a few birds, a horse perhaps, have saved the ruins of an amphitheatre.” This extreme form of Berkeleyan subjective idealism – which stated simply that objects only exist in the minds of the perceiver and thus cannot exist without being perceived - has a reciprocal in our own world in the power of myth and its formative effects on our perception of reality. This paper, to be presented in Dublin in May 2018, will explore the power of “Mediterranean”, itself a collective myth, to corrupt our view, inform an illusory world, and, in this specific case, be employed to sell baby food.

This paper was presented at the Dublin Gastronomy Symposium at DIT on 29th May 2018, and is now available here. All papers can be accessed through the DGS site here.

view presentation (presented at the Dublin Gastronomy Symposium 29th May 2018)

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