The refined debauchee shrinks before the gastronomic libertinism of the Baptists. Pie, sensually crusted and voluptuously perfumed with cinnamon, is a devil's snare perfected by the Pilgrims. The Methodist tooth is fleshed daily in succulent pork and rare chines of beef. Young fowls are daintily fed and fattened, they are lured to the block by enticements of corn, they eat their way to death, and die below the axe, victims of the deceptive kindness of their masters. The full udders of cattle, themselves the fruit of bovine immortality, are robbed daily of their lactic treasure. Sunday, among the Methodists, after a formal propitiation of the Almighty in the morning, is given over to a Lucullan celebration of Ceres and Pomona. The fact that Bacchus is excluded from these orgies only serves to taint the ceremonies with a hint of perversion.
A version of Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel
is being republished as "O Lost
," incorporating 60,000 words that Wolfe scholars have argued were erroneously cut. The Washington Post talks to one Wolfe expert who says that O Lost
is not just a longer book than Look Homeward, Angel
, but a fundamentally different book with a greater focus on American culture.