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Kafka’s Soup : A Complete History of World Literature in 14 Recipes (Libri Publications, 2005)


Mark Crick was born in London in 1962. A book lover from a very young age, Mark Crick studied French literature at the Lycée Condorcet and read English and comparative literature at the University of Warwick. A professional photographer, Mark Crick has also worked as a journalist and illustrator. He is a widely travelled man. Kafka’s soup is his first book. He is currently at work on several other book projects, amongst which is another book of pastiches.

In french

Bibliography :

  • Kafka’s Soup : A Complete History of World Literature in 14 Recipes (Libri Publications, 2005)

Summary of Kafka’s soup :

In a most original leap of imagination, the author, who is also a photographer and artist, manages to imbue his text with the distinctive flavour of the writers, the peculiarities of language so uniquely mastered by literary favourites.
Carefully assembling each pastiche, Crick marries flavour and degree of difference with author, adding a pinch of tart or sweet as required for authenticity. A literary ventriloquist, the author has penned these recipes in the language of the masters of world literature, for example, Kafka’s “Quick Miso Soup.” Like Kafka, the soup is thin, but exotic ; one pictures the author too busy to cook, or eat, his energies better spent on his work.
The recipes are diverse : Lamb with Dill Sauce a La Raymond Chandler ; Tarragon Eggs a la Jane Austen ; Tiramisu a la Marcel Proust ; Cheese on Toast a la Harold Pinter ; and Onion Tart a la Geoffrey Chaucer.
Proust’s Tiramisu is reflective, charged with meaning : “the memories of smell and taste, so faithful, resisted the destruction and rebuilt for a moment the palace wherein dwelt the remembrance of that evening and that tiramisu.”
Preparing his legendary Lamb with Dill Sauce, Chandler “sipped on my whiskey sour, ground out my cigarette on the chopping board... I needed a table at Maxim’s... what I had was a leg of lamb and no clues.”
Although a photographer by trade, Crick created the artwork for each recipe, equally precise in tone and detail, Harold Pinter’s Cheese on Toast in stark black and white relief, while Austen’s Tarragon Eggs features an elegant drawing of a fashionable lady and gentleman. Equally striking are the stark illustration of Steinbeck’s Mushroom Risotto and the simplicity of Homer’s Fenkata.