NABOKV-L post 0010891, Tue, 4 Jan 2005 19:26:48 -0800

Subject
a play on the memoir 'Speak, Memory' by Vladimir Nabokov
Date
Body




Food fit for a hangover and curing 'The Wrath of Grapes'
The Saratogian, NY - 2 hours ago
... Or, Looking for Mr. Lobotomy,' is hilarious as a play on the memoir 'Speak, Memory' by Vladimir Nabokov, a piece full of word play and puns. ...



http://www.saratogian.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1169&dept_id=17776&newsid=13663495&PAG=461&rfi=9

Food fit for a hangover and curing 'The Wrath of Grapes'
LEE GOODEN, For The Saratogian
01/01/2005



'The Wrath of Grapes: A Complete Hangover Cookbook & Guide to the Art of Creative Suffering' (XOXOX PRESS 2004, 127 pages, $10) -- Patrick Meanor


With holiday stress and tension upon us, many of us will imbibe alcoholic spirits to celebrate and take the edge off. Too much imbibing, as we know all to well, will lead to a hangover.

The hangover. The very word fills the heart with angst, dread and guilt, as the brain moans over and over a mantra of 'Oh God, never again, never again, never again...'

Whether one is down on his or her luck quaffing boiler-makers in some seedy dive; playing quarters while dressed in bed sheets at a 'come as your favorite ancient Roman' dorm party; sipping champagne while hobnobbing with paparazzi in the lofty spires of the Trump Tower; or just partaking in a fifth or sixth (who can keep count?) Perfect Manhattan, watching an 'I Love Lucy' marathon in the comfort of one's own home, the hangover is a great global-socioeconomic equalizer.

Patrick Meanor's book, 'The Wrath of Grapes,' is a wonderful foil for the literary and artistic person's hangover. Calling 'Wrath' a cookbook is as misleading as it is limiting because it includes so much more. Meanor writes: 'We use the term 'cookbook' as it applies not only to an activity that takes place in the kitchen of your home but, more importantly, as a psychological, mental and spiritual 'kitchen' in which the imagination does the cooking...(as) we 'cook up' ideas, schemes, plans and remedies for both 'physical and metaphysical' hangovers.'

The packed pages begin with a cleverly annotated table of contents of seven humorously titled chapters. The chapters, including Chapter 1: The Wrath of Grapes -- Morning Dread and what NOT to do; Chapter 6: Exorcise with Exercise -- Imaginative Calisthenics; and Chapter 7: The Saint Lawrence Memorial Recipe -- Stations of the Course, create amusing plays on words and book titles.

'The Wrath of Grapes' is so obviously a twist on the title of John Steinbeck's famous novel 'The Grapes of Wrath.' Some plays are more subtle. A subtitle in chapter one, 'Caring for the Mind: Don't Speak Memory! Or, Looking for Mr. Lobotomy,' is hilarious as a play on the memoir 'Speak, Memory' by Vladimir Nabokov, a piece full of word play and puns.

Meanor uses 'The Wrath of Grapes' as a platform to share his knowledge and express opinions about the arts while including mouth-watering recipes and suggested foods to soothe the dreaded hangover. The book also instructs on how to combine food with a film, some excellent music or a good book to create a kind of homeostasis for the hangover afflicted.

Meanor also keeps measurements and complicated directions to a minimum, as 'most victims are in no shape to choose from among the many offerings or engage in measuring activities, ... action, thought (or) analysis.'

Patrick Meanor, Ph.D is a Distinguished Teaching Professor of English at the State University of New York, College of Oneonta where he has taught for 30 years.

Meanor has edited or co-edited five volumes of the 'Dictionary of Literary of Literary Biography Series: American Short Story Writers Since WWII' (Gale Press). He has written two books: 'John Cheever Revisited' (1995: Twane -- Macmillian) and 'Bruce Chatwin' (1997: Twane -- Simon & Schuster). He is presently writing a book on British satirist, Will Self.