[OPE-L:7861] Query re 'The Complete Book of Cooking'

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Sat Oct 26 2002 - 11:55:19 EDT

Once upon a time in a place far, far away 
there was a  famous chef who repeatedly wrote, in 
published and unpublished writings, that he planned 
on writing a series of six books on cooking.  In one of 
his works, "An Outline on Cooking",  he wrote that 
"obviously" the order of those 6 books would be:

Book One:    Cooking in General
Book Two:    Vegetables
Book Three:  Meat
Book Four:    Fish
Book Five:    Fruit
Book 6:         International Cooking as a Whole

One of the unusual aspects of "The Complete Book
of Cooking" was that it was not only to be a 
comprehensive and systematic exposition of the 
subject of cooking but it was also to be a critique
of all previous thought on the subject of cooking.  
Quite a task!

In the "Preface" to his work "A Contribution to a 
Critique of Cooking"  the very first paragraph read:

"I examine the system of cooking in the following order: 
cooking in general, vegetables, meat, fish, fruit, 
international cooking as a whole".

Yet, the "Contribution to a Critique of Cooking" only
concerned "Cooking in general".

The last major work that he wrote was a massive
multi-volume work on the subject of "Cooking in 
general".  The first volume of "Cooking in general"
(subtitled "A Critique of other philosophies of cooking")
was published in his lifetime. The subsequent 
volumes were only incomplete drafts but were edited
by a cook who worked in the same kitchen as the 
great chef and was a life-time collaborator, friend,
and benefactor.  They were then published 
posthumously since the great chef died (alas) 
while still a young man.

In the "Prefaces" to "Cooking in general" and in all
of his subsequent writing (much of which was also only
published posthumously) the great chef neither wrote
that he planned on only writing Book One ["Cooking
in general"] and had thereby given-up on his 6-book-plan
nor did he write that he still planned on writing the other
5 books in the 6-book-plan.

Query:  given the above, doesn't the preponderance
of evidence strongly suggest that he still planned on 
writing the remaining 5 books?  

Indeed,  since in his last published comment on this subject
-- in the "Contribution to a Critique of Cooking" -- he had
informed his readers that he *was* planning on writing all
6 books beginning with "Cooking in general" wouldn't it 
have been only reasonable to expect that had he abandoned
his plan to write the 6-book-series on cooking then he would
have explained (or at least noted) that in "Cooking in general"?
Can't his silence on that topic in "Cooking in general" -- given
*the context of what he wrote in "A Contribution to a Critique of
Cooking"* be taken as evidence that he still planned on 
writing the remaining 5 volumes at the time that the first volume
of "Cooking in general" was published?

In solidarity, Jerry  

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