Friday, April 21, 2017

The worst fatigue

I was picking up a little
jambon de bayonne for a
few sandwiches the other 
day - except it came, I
later learned, from New
Jersey - when by chance
I noticed some duck con-
fit, which is all over
the place these days. I
was reminded of a neat
story in The Times on
travel in Gascony, and
I asked the person help-
ing me, if she read any
of our culinary journal-
ism, also all over the
place these days. This
drew from her an angry
boast of having vast
experience as a chef,
of the broadest exper-
tise in Western cuisine,
enabling her finally to
ignore what people were
saying - about herself,
she didn't need to add.

Having no experience with
what we might call, exper-
tise fatigue, I can't be
sure how it varies from a
nicely predominating gloom
of disappointment with life,
of which we read every day.
But it did strike me, and
still does upon some reflec-
tion, as possibly the sad-
dest condition to endure.
A renunciation of curiosity
in any passion - as I take
the mastery of anything to
require - strikes me as a
kind of life imprisonment,
except that as pathetic as
that condition must be,
sound must still percolate
into one's cell.

Obviously, one's interview
with the ham guru did not
end well, and on departing
the little shop I noticed,
I had failed to collect
that package. I wonder if
anyone enjoyed it for me.
As a dilettante in these
great matters, at least I
retain the liberty to be
dazzled enough by news of

iii  Florian Neuville

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