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Food Transactions

Food Transactions

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Published by Marco Frascari
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Published by: Marco Frascari on Jun 07, 2008
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Food Transactions in France, England, Naples and Venice

Sed prius altorium vestrum chiamare bisognat, o macaronaeam Musae quae funditis artem. Teofilo Folengo,i "You are what you eat." Modern American proverb When we no longer have good cooking in the world, we will have no literature, nor high and sharp intelligence, nor friendly gatherings, no social harmony. Marie-Antoine Carême Life is a combination of magic and pasta. Federico Fellini I … have worked hard to make my readers laugh, but also make them feel they are involved in a through inquiry into, and a worthwhile explication of real life. Leon Battista Alberti, Momus, p.7

It is a widespread knowledge that Monsieur Descartes did not accept as factual what his senses communicated to his mind because he had a quasi-total mistrust in sensorial information. Nevertheless, when sitting at his breakfast table, being a good Frenchman, he had to make up his mind about his cook’s gastronomic efforts.ii During his repast, Monsieur Descartes had to put aside his philosophical thinking to consider the omelet and the bread he was eating through a sensorial assessment resulting from the savoring of the meal carefully laid out for him. Monsieur Descartes knew that a good chef prepares food anticipating the multiple effects caused by the meal and catering to a combination of different sensory phenomena and evaluations. Listening to the sizzling and cracklings of fats, paying attention to the fizzing, murmuring, and gurgling of cold and hot liquids and

monitoring the change in color shades during browning, glazing and clarifying, cooks make decisions conjecturing the final taste and effect of their work. In other words, they work within a set of non-verbal but all-sensual configurations of procedures that will lead to what the final dish shall “feel,” “look” and “taste.” On a daily basis, sitting at the dining table, Monsieur Descartes was facing a dilemma. The products of the process of cooking, a process that could be easily recognized as a rational activity as described in recipes and cookbooks, were always subjected to the irrational judgments of a mingling of sensory activities taking place before, during, and after each meal. His solution to this contradiction was the formation of a cloven world: on the one hand, there is the trustable mental reality of res cogitans and on the other hand the dreamlike physical reality of res extensa. Res cogitans cannot be eaten, but res extensa can be discerningly prepared, appreciated, and assimilated. Consequently, Monsieur Descartes, who indeed was a clever individual, hired and fired his chefs of cuisine on the finding generated by an appreciation and estimation of res extensa as embodied in the dish presented on the table rather than on the arid logic of the res cogitans as computed and explicated in cooking instructions and formulas submitted to his attention by the cook. He knew the two domains intertwined on a laid table and that his cautious philosophy could not be practiced at repast time. Across the English Channel, in the Oxonian countryside, a few years later, a tolerant Esquire named John Locke was facing the same daily breakfast problem. Looking at the reality of his toast and fried egg with pork and beans on the side, this alert reader of Monsieur Descartes had to unravel the same conundrum regarding the qualities of his breakfast to decide the parameters that he was going to use to hire or to sack his cook. In

order to solve the problem, Locke had to rely on empirical thinking. Planning not to have any preconceived idea about his breakfast, Locke worked out his decision on the one hand by analyzing the ideas that come from experiencing the toast, the egg, and the pork and beans and on the other hand by looking at the presentation, representation, image, and perception of the concept or notion of an English breakfast. No innate ideas, as the one asserting “mother’s fried-eggs were the best,” feint his judgment, but he knew that through his innate faculty he could perceive, remember, and combine an idea of breakfast that came from without and through desires, ponderings, and wills. Locke worked out a twofold theory of experience: observation may be employed either about external sensible objects, or about the internal operations of our minds. The external experience is the source of most of the ideas that individuals have, and, as it depends entirely upon our senses, is called sensation. The internal experience is a source of ideas that wholly reside within the individual and reflective self and it is based on internal sense. For Locke, the semiosis of a simple idea is the test and standard of reality, whether the mind contributes to our ideas or removes them further from the reality of things. In becoming generic and general, knowledge loses the capability of being in touch with things. However, not all the simple ideas carry with them the same significance for reality; colors, smells, tastes, sounds, and the like are simple ideas that produce those sensations in us. Simple ideas of sensations are embodied in Locke’s breakfast eggs by the qualities of being yellow, white, hot, cold, soft, runny, and so forth; they are the secondary qualities of bodies. Solidity, extension, figure, motion or rest, and number fall also in the Lockian category of simple ideas. These ideas are resemblances of what really exists in the bodies themselves and in the case of eggs using a contemporary terminology

these qualities are the lipids, the carbohydrates, the proteins, and the immunoglobulins and they stand for the primary qualities of bodies which indeed are the essential qualities useful for writing the labels of egg-based products and comprehending the pharmaceutical and nutritional values of eggs. Nevertheless, the knowledge of their presence and the comprehension of their functions are completely unnecessary to achieve the gourmet assessment of a perfect fried egg. Foodstuff is not an abstract category, but for Cartesian dieticians and Lockian food designers, foodstuff is only a set of controlled properties to be listed in specifications and worked out in a speculatively value-efficient production. Nerveless, foodstuff always works within a collective memory, charged with meaning and the resulting dishes are always loaded with cultural weight and social solidity. The Neapolitan Giambattista Vico, an unusual philosopher of the eighteenth century, was interested in the power of imagination and discovered the beginning of humanity in the ontological dimension of stench—a secondary Lockian quality. Being an underpaid university professor of rhetoric, Vico did not have to face the problem of discovering the parameters for firing or hiring a cook since he could not afford one. Nevertheless, very likely he faced a similar dilemma when deciding to buy a pizza from a street vendor. Vico, who had addressed in one of his rhetorical exercises the dining habits of the Romans, knew that the pizza was a product of the Ancient Italic wisdom as demonstrated by philological investigations.iii “Pizza” derives from Latin pinsa a past participle of the verb pinsére that means to crush, to pound, to flatten. The flattened bread he knew to be excellent given a long tradition of baking that had brought it to perfection, except that it was covered with a tomato sauce (in Neapolitan: pummarolla), a concoction that according to Cartesian Botanists was

dangerous because the tomato plant is a berry member of the lethal nightshades, in other words an herbaceous plant of the poisonous Solanaceae family. The suitability of tomatoes as foodstuff was debated for a long time by botanists and by cooks after they had been imported from the New World. Such a plant also struck popular imagination and its genus name Lycopersicon (wolf-peach) was enthused by the folk credence that upon eating a tomato a person will become a werewolf. However, having observed that no one was dying nor changing in wolf after eating tomatoes, the Neapolitans, realistic people used to make their judgments through their senses, in this case, their testing taste had made tomato a staple of their meals.iv By the end of the 16th century, the Queen of Naples, Maria Carolina, convinced her husband, King Ferdinand IV to allow the pizza, the humble fare of the urban poor, to be prepared in the royal kitchens. An English cultivator wrote in 1596 about tomatoes, "these love apples are eaten abroad," and described them as “of rank and stinking savor.” Initially brought to Spain from South America, tomato was labeled toma(lt) de los Mores (Moors’ tomato). Altered by a French corruption, due perhaps to suspected aphrodisiac properties, the name becomes pomme d'amour (love apple) and consequently liebesapfel in the German speaking countries. In Italian, the linguistic corruption generated the term pomo d’oro (golden apple), a materic recognition of valuable produce product. In an act expressing his full dissatisfaction with the absolute certainties of the Cartesian method, Vico enjoyed the tomato sauce on his pizza, knowing that he could trust the ancient sapience of the Neapolitan eaters. Vico's disapproval of the traditional Cartesian system pivots around the point that Cartesians focus on the studies of mathematics and physical sciences while undermining

the significance of other facets of human knowledge, namely art, law, history, rhetoric, and language. Vico sees “knowledge making” as mostly consisting of uncertainties as it can be found in the opposition: You say tuh-MAY-toe, I say tuh-MAH-toe. For Vico, "keen perception and vivid language [were] sources of all freshness in a culture as well as the guarantee of its future.”v The above mentioned considerations on the history of the changes in its naming makes “tomato” a “pomodoro,” a perfect candidate for the realm of Vico’s imaginative universals. Vico draws the imaginative universals from a common mental language that manifests itself as “vulgar” wisdom (maxims, proverbs, etcetera) that, through different manifestations across the world, expresses the same underlying concepts and views. To Vico, these took the form of primal and primary metaphors, universally recognized and preceding language, that on the one hand caused a configuration of categorizations and on the other led the mind's ability to objectify and operate critically. To reach a decision over the possible toxicity of tomatoes Vico had to consider that mythos and logos combine in a sensually sentient solution. As he explains in his New Science, the power of imaginative metaphysics is a solution to human knowledge. Rational metaphysics teaches that man becomes all things by understanding them (homo intelligendo fit omnia), this imaginative metaphysics shows that man becomes all things by not understanding them (homo non intelligendo fit omnia); and perhaps the latter proposition is truer than the former, for when man understands he extends his mind and takes in the things, but when he does not

understand he makes the things out of himself and becomes them by transforming himself into them.vi Vico’s discovery is that the world of senses begins in the periphery of our bodies and moves to inner and higher levels of perception. From there, in analogical manner, the senses rule the way we willfully and wittily act in our world is at the basis for a sated human sapience. Nowadays, people working in the subject of Artificial Intelligence and “natural stupidity” are aware of the weird and wonderful contradiction of the cloven Cartesian world. They know that it is easier to develop computer-processing systems that can straightforwardly substitute the work of engineers, lawyers, and physicians, but it is an impossible task, plainly, a Sisyphean effort, to develop systems that can replace draftspersons, cooks, gardeners, and architects. Engineers, lawyers and physician base their profession on a sequence of logical steps or protocols worked out by deduction and induction whereas draftspersons, gardeners and architects practice imagination and base their profession on analogies, homologies and demonstrative tropes generated by conjectural thinking that transcends professional boundaries. The solution is to discover how the findings of the “ancient” sapience of cooks, gardeners, and architects were achieved. The tensions is created by a tri-polar structure of different kinds of intelligences. One pole identifies a theoretical intelligence that knows materials and procedures only in an abstract and intangible manner, a second pole corresponds to an experiential intelligence that knows material and procedures in an ostensive and tangible manner and a third pole recognizes a sensual intelligence that knows materials and procedures in an imaginative and bodily manner. The tensions between these three forms of intelligence materialize in sollertia, a

cunningly transformational sapience, and a cardinal virtue, which knows how to take advantage of the propensity of things. Sollertia, an act of cunning judgment, is an essential transformational intelligence. Sollertia, a clever sense, is the cardinal virtue in both practicing and theorizing of construction, cooking and puffing, the fundamental virtue for prudent, resourceful, welleducated and ingenious architects, cooks and alchemists. In the first paragraph of the first chapter of the first book of his architectural primer, Vitruvius suggests that architecture is a meditated carry out of cunningly constructed objects. Good architecture is possible only when an architect is expert (peritus) and gifted with a quick and cunning intelligence (ingegno mobili sollertiaque) (Vitruvius V, 6, vii). Happily (feliciter) concluding his treatise, in the last paragraph of the last book, the Roman architect generates a remarkable promotional line for the profession by declaring that, during wars, cities can free themselves from enemies by relying on the cunning intelligence of their architects (architectorum sollarties sunt libertae) (Vitruvius X, 16, xii). Sollertia is potentiality. It is the power of one “who can take in a situation at a glance” and can solve problems that could not be forecasted in the plotting of a project. On the one hand, sollertia is a particular kind of intelligence that is based on a compassed prudence. On the other hand, sollertia requires a quick mind, able of presaging the problems of factures. Sollertia is mobility of thought and caution of execution based on a simultaneous seeing of past, future and present. Such prudential multiple nature of sollertia is essential to any person in producing contrivances that will become significant tools for those who possesses them. Sollertia’s nature is part of the rhetorical configuration used by Vitruvius to define architecture as a prudent profession. The

practice of construction (peritia) is based on a reflective labor (meditatio) whereas the theoretical demonstrations are based on craftiness (sollertia). Accordingly, sollertia is a wily knowledge that dwells between slow formulas and quick metaphors. For instance, the architectural Orders are defined by Vitruvius using quick metaphoric references to gendered bodies (virile Doric, matronly Ionic and virginally Corinthian), and by slow formulas defining the proportions existing between the diameter and the other dimensions of the column and the intercolumniation. Sollertia is also forewarned prudence, a meditated procedure of construction enlightened by flashes of intuition. The mythical Greek architect Daedalus, who invented the gluepaste, the fish-glue (isinglass), the saw, the axe, the drill and the plumb line, was gifted with sollertia since his inventions expedite the work. As a consequence of these inventions and other contraptions devised by the function of sollertia architects can spend more time in constructive thoughts, balanced between slow numerical formulations and swift metaphorical images, between slow appraisals and flashing visions, and between organic metaphors of the artificial and inorganic visions of organisms. The Roman word sollertia is the exact translation of what the Greeks called “metis,” a form of non-rational "sapience". In the Theogony, Hesiod informs us that Metis is the daughter of the Titans, Okeanos (Oceanus) and Tethys. She is also the first wife of the Olympian god Zeus and mother of the goddess Athena. "I am Prudence," were the first words that Metis spoke to Zeus.vii In The Library, Apollodorus let us know that Zeus slept with Metis, although she had turned herself into many forms in order to avoid his sexual attentions. When she was pregnant, it was prophesied that Metis would bear children more powerful than Zeus himself, for instance one of them was going to be Expediency.viii

In order to forestall this ominous future event, Zeus assimilated Mètis in himself, by swallowing her when she was in a form of a fly and keeping her within his own belly, “so that this goddess should think for him, for good and for evil.”ix The sapience of the belly is therefore metis or sollertia, a form of intelligence, using conjectural and oblique knowledge, which anticipates, modifies and influences the outcome of events in difficult and ambiguous circumstances. When abstract generalizations (episteme) are unable to handle a changeable and unpredictable situation, and when the know-how (techne) does not have any grip on a chancy and fluid reality and when practical wisdom, drawn from social practice (phronesis) does not come up with any solution to a mutable and unsure event, it is precisely at that moment that a different dimension of intelligence steps in. It is an intelligence that no rational discourse could teach and no pragmatic set of words can fully contain. It is the knowledge of short cuts, of sagacious envisioning, of perspicuous intervention. This intelligence is even more mutable that the situation it has to cope with, it is discreet, operative, and conjectural: it is the sollertia or metis of architects cooks, and alchemists. To define metis/sollertia in familiar terms, one could say that it is a form of unspoken knowledge, learned from those events and incidents that make professionals and professors of sapience valuable assets regardless of their technical know-how (techne), of their science (episteme) or of the depth of their social involvement and expertise (phronesis). The flair, the ability and the elegance of such successful professionals and professors derive from this form of an embodied, incarnate, substantial intelligence. An intelligence that is located beyond the realm of metaphysics, which does not institute a

quest for perfect models, but rather a search for a sensible and sensitive purposeful transformation of “stuff.” Sollertia/metis operates between what is humanly perfunctory and what is intricately human. The comprehension of the difference between the desire of imitation and the magic of transformation is the crucial mean of access to the proper use of lines on paper for conjuring up building. The positive power of the material mediation by graphic signs ascribable to the notational character of design is instituted by the merging of analytical and symbolic properties: discreteness, finite numbers, combinatory power, pictograms hieroglyphs and ideograms, all of which epitomizes direct, prudent and temperate inscription of human thoughts on paper. In Architecture, the sapience of transformation of drawing-stuff—graphite, inks, paper, etc. —into drawings actually mirrors the transformation of building-stuff—bricks, stones wood, etc. —into buildings. These transformations, in their essential nature, mirror the nature of the conversion of foodstuff into prepared food which is performed by cooks, by means of cunning plays of sapience in their ovens or on their stovetops. The nature of these culinary and architectural translations is ruled by non-rational sensorial procedures derived from the human orders of res extensa. The ruling force is that of a sensual craftiness used by architects cooks and alchemists through which secondary qualities of colors, sounds, temperatures, pressures, spaces-perception, cultural and psychological times, and so forth are connected with one another in manifold ways, coupled with emotional dispositions of mind, feelings, and volitions that cannot be merely computed. The concept of cognition is associated primarily with "rational" forms of mental activity: reasoning, thinking, and the conscious manipulation of knowledge, deduction, and

computation. Conventionally, consciousness is divided into three principal functions: cognition, conation and affection. Conation and affection are mental processes associated, respectively, with volition (motivation, purposes) and emotion (moving subjective experiences). Formal models of cognitive processes are restricted to typically deductive or computational ways of manipulating information, and it is unclear how to model emotional phenomena computationally. Nevertheless, emotion and motivation are no longer considered to be outside the scope of cognitive science; they are considered necessary non-rational presences progressing from a modeling based on explicit, controlled, neoclassical deterministic processes of deduction and computation towards a modeling based on implicit, spontaneous, classical non-deterministic processes of intuition, association and moving experiences.x Imagination, fantasy, vision, memory, perception, representation are all part of a cognitive cluster and the semantics are so entangled—or as Gadda will put it: they are a “gnommero,” (Roman dialect for Italian gomitolo, matassa: a skein)—that in comparison the Gordian knot is a simple love knot. To solve this cognitive tangle by just cutting through it would only give an ambiguous characterization, even if intended to produce a merely operational definition of imagination. I am proposing instead to analyze and describe this tangle, as it exists: an impenetrable unsolvable knotted-snarl of phenomena entangled with their causes, with concomitant causes and with causes of causes. It is essential to acquire a real operative to observe it and to question it, to inquire on its nature, without untangle the “gnommero” of the cognitive cluster but through our finite perception reach an infinite number of relations.

Repeating a metaphor I have use already, imagination can be seen configured as a double-sided coin: we know that there are images on both sides, but we can see only one at the time. On the one side, imagination is the human faculty that keeps together what has been collected by different and discrete perceptions. This faculty has the gist of the Aristotelian koine aesthesis, also known as sensus communis, an internal sum of senses by which the complex configurations of objects such as architectural culinary and alchemic products can really make sense. This sensus communis is not our “commonsense,” but an amalgamation, a combinatory perception, an internal sensing collation bringing together and coordinating the data perceived by the external senses. Dishes, buildings, alchemical products are enjoyed always by a sum of perceptions that allows us to understand the encoded images (visible, aural, tactile, olfactory and gustatory) as accumulating in layers on the world of experience. Any of these layers may be experienced as a primary image gustatory in culinary encounters or visual in architectural or alchemic occurrences but the reality the results are a summa of the totality of the layers. The sensus communis is at the basis of the development of the clinical eye of pre-statistical medicine able to recognize the always-changing configurations of illnesses in diagnostic syndromes. Sometimes this sensus communis can fail because of improperly and badly fed senses. A few years ago, I was climbing together with a group of students the recently restored Gothic campanile, located at the very edge of the left side of the Sant’Andrea façade in Mantua. During the climbing, I realized that many of those students had assumed that the campanile was of recent construction because of the pungent smell of the quick lime mortar used for re-pointing the bricks. To them, something smelling so strongly new

could not be old although the guise was clearly gothic and the regularity of the brickcourses had been clearly deformed by the centuries of aging. This peculiar event demonstrates how the disentangling one perception from the others alters and hampers the metis or prudence in charge of the sensus communis. The other side of the coin shows imagination as the virtue by which the sensory images of building we have seen and the flavors of food we have tasted can be transmuted in new buildings and dishes by recombining the layers of the sensus communis in a new cosmospoiesis. Imagination can reconstruct something absent, but also can make a reelaboration of it; everybody can imagine a man riding a horse as well as a centaur. A poetic virtue that makes objects and events memorable and by its power I can remember my grandmother’s roasted chicken. However, this poetic virtue is also the power by which chef Dunan finding himself with no foodstuff in his battlefield pantry generated a novel dish. He rustled the nearby chicken coops and snatched tomatoes and garlic from peasant gardens and after sautéing everything in herbs and olive oil, he refined it with a splash of cognac. By using the cunning power of imagination chef Dunan could figure out the recipe of the poulet a la Marengo to help Napoleon Bonaparte to celebrate his strategic victory of the battle of Marengo during the second Campaign in Italy, on June 14 1800.xi Sixty-two years after Bonaparte’s celebration, in a lecture, delivered at the School of Military Engineering at Chapthan, James Fergusson explained that to acquire the knowledge of the true principle of architecture was necessary to study the work of the great chefs of cuisine rather than the work of Pugin and Vitruvius. He pointed out that the imaginative process by which a hut built to shelter an image is refined into a temple

and a meetinghouse grows into a cathedral is the same, by which “a boiled neck of mutton can evolve into cotolettes a l’imperiale and a grilled fowl into poulet a la Marengo.”xii The double sided nature of imagination operate also within the alchemic modus operandi conceived by Paracelsus, a mercurial alchemist who located the origin of iatrochemistry in the processes of daily cooking and coined the momentous German word einbildungskraft (literally: craft of image-building) to translate the Latin term, imaginatio. Imagination is the cunning power of the mind to reproduce the appearances that are prearranged in intuition, thereby making possible the relationship of representations under the concepts of the understanding. That is, imagination is the indispensable hinge between intuition and understanding and therefore a necessary component of any cognitive knowledge. The synthetic, synoptic character of knowledge could not be realized were it not for the reproduction of images, or representations, accomplished by the imagination. xiii In his alchemic dictionary, following Paracelsus, Martin Roland defines imagination as “astrum in homine” (the star in man), a light that was more powerful than any star. xiv As artisans of images, when working toward their future products, do architects cooks and alchemists see actually “see” them? The first answer that comes to mind is “no,” since what is designated is still absent; the second answer is “yes,” since they can relate to their future careful constructions precious metals and sophisticated dishes through a long series of intermediary and itersensorial steps. If we were to take preparations, i.e., the marks laid on paper, the foodstuff set on a table or the chemicals in the alembics literally, either by denegation that they really refer to something or by claiming that what

is referred is therefore present, we would miss what makes preparations interesting for the sensorial culture of a macaronic thinker that operates within material cosmospoiesis.xv The function of cosmospoiesis is the making of actual and possible worlds wherein others can find their place and human life may be envisioned in its varied dimensions. In a cosmospoiesis, deictic images point at remote phenomena and absent features. The deictic images created by alchemists cooks and architects designate a reality; as references they force us to transcend the setting in which we are immersed. In their definition of absence, presence, reality, phenomena, transcendence, visibility, invisibility, opacity and transparence, the gestures performed by alchemists cooks and architects on their tables help us see objects that are intangible, and yet they are completely different from the one performed when the objects are tangible. By using the language of the Second Council of Nicea,xvi where the crucial discussion on the role of images took place, it is possible to say that the majority of architects and probably many chefs and alchemists have shifted from "iconophilia" to "idolatry.” Iconophilia is not love for images but the love for the translations that take place among them, i.e., the conversion from one form of image to another. By contrast, idolatry can be characterized by a morose concentration on the image per se. Thus, the phenomenon of iconoclasm may be defined either as an aggression to idolatry or as an annihilation of iconophilia, indeed two very different conflicts. Because, it is so difficult to resist the temptation inherent in all images, that is, to freeze-frame them, the iconoclast dream is an unmediated access to truth, which operates within a complete absence of images. Nevertheless, if we follow the path of iconophilia, we should, focus even more on the chains of transformations for which each image is only a provisional condition. In other words, architects should be

iconophile in all domains at once. They should follow James Fergusson’s advice and study all translations that took place from the images carried by a grilled fowl to the images carried by a poulet a la Marengo and iconocastily speaking they then should proceed to destroy the frozen images of the idols nibbled or gobbled down by architectural gluttons. A demonstration of the idolatrizing exploitation of images is in the title of an article published in the Real Estate section of a well-known newspaper: “Appling to the crowds: Model Homes project perfection right down to the fake food.”xvii In the article, it is described how these model-homes, after they have been used to promote the selling of housing, have a special market of their own. They are sold as they have been displayed. Some individuals buy with all the trimmings included, i.e. all objects paraded in them, furniture, curtains, pictures on the wall, even the fake food displayed on the dishes set on the dining table or inside the refrigerator. In buying these houses in their commercial totality, people buy images not the buildings. These model-homes have become fake idols that help to hide the dominant condition that, in architecture, the merging of the art of living well with the arts of building well and eating well is not happening any longer. The architecture of the houses built in the new suburban divisions does not give per se images, consequently the model-homes in their carefully selected generic qualities becomes the only genuine image available to the perspective buyers and consequently it is bought not only mentally but physically. The content of these model-homes are then talismans, complete and completing elements that can give to the future owners, what many of humorless and memory-less houses cannot give anymore. Lacking the depth of both emotional and sensual images, these new homes have been embodied artificially and

temporally within a cosmospoiesis via a cosmetic coalescence of sensibility and sensitivity by decorators specialized in designing model homes.


Baldus 1:5-6, Folengo’s major macaronic work, Baldus (four editions: 1517, 1521,

1534-35, and posthumously in 1552) is a mock-epic poem of giants and farfetched chivalric adventures including the discovery of the mouth of the Nile and a final descent into Hell. Baldus is the genre’s acknowledged masterpiece, and it enjoyed a notable popularity in the 1500s with over a dozen editions and reprints

The telling of this story was suggested by the reading of Manfredo Massironi, L’osteria

dei dadi truccati,

G B Vico On the Sumptuous Dinners of the Romans. Translated by George A. Trone

New Vico studies 20; see also, Donald Phillip Verene, “Vico and Culinary Art: "On the Sumptuous Dinners of the Romans" and the Science of the First Meals,” New Vico studies 20

The suspicion of tomatoes being toxic persisted well into the 19th century in both

England and United States.

Mooney, Vico Tradition of Rhetoric p105. Giambattista Vico, New Science 405 1986 Druon, Maurice. The Memoirs of Zeus. New York. Charles Scribner's Sons. 1964 p. 63 "The god Poros (Expediency), is the son of Metis (Sapience)" -Plato Symposium 178





Hesiod. Works and Days and Theogony. Indianapolis. Hackett. 1993, # 886. Ilya Prigogine, From Being to Becoming: Time and Complexity in the Natural Sciences,


(Freeman, San Francisco 1980).

Ilya Prigogine with I. Stengers, The End of Certainty, Time, Chaos and the New Laws of Nature, The Free Press, New York 1997. F. Heylighen, Towards a General Framework for Modeling Representation Changes, in: Proceedings of the 11th International Congress on Cybernetics (Symposium "Styles and Types of Knowledge Manipulation"), Association Internationale de Cybernétique, Namur, 1986, p. 29 -34. V. Hamilton, The Cognitive Structures and Processes of Human Motivation and Personality, Wiley, London, 1983

André Castelot, l'Histoire à table, "si la cuisine m'était contée..." (Paris: Plon 1972) Peter Collins, in Changing Ideal in Modern Architecture (London: Faber and Faber,


1965), sets four analogies to discuss the concept of Functionalism, namely the Biological, Mechanical, Gastronomic and Linguistic. Collins’s biological, mechanical, and linguistic analogies have been analyzed and used in every possible way for examining architecture. However, the gastronomical analogy—probably because of an erroneously perceived inherent lightness—has been mostly forgotten. The Fergusson’s story is told at the beginning of the Chapter devoted to the Gastronomic Analogy (p.167). Collins’ chapter has been the brass tacks holding the plan of my tactic for applying macaronic thinking to architecture. The tracing of the plan began with an article I wrote on the peculiar nature of architectural imagination, in its educational and professional forms, entitled “Semiotica ab Edendo,” presented at the 1984 meeting of the Semiotic Society of America, and published in the Proceedings. Later on, an enlarged version was published in The Journal of Architectural Education, Fall 1986.

Aurelius Philipus Theophrastus Bombast von Hohenheim, known as Paracelsus, is an

alchemic cook that founded the discipline of iatro-chemistry, or medical chemistry, see: Paracelsus, Selected Writings, trans. Norman Guterman, ed. Jolande Jacobi, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1951, p.165, Paracelsus, The Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Paracelsus, ed. Arthur Edward Waite, 2 vols. London: James Elliott, 1894, v. 2 p.151; I. Betschart: Der Begriff "Imagination" bei Paracelsus. Nova Acta Parac. 6, 1952, pp.52-67.


Martin Roland, Lexicon alchemiæ sive dictionarium alchemisticum, cum obscuriorum

verborum, et rerum Hermeticarum, tum Theophrast-Paracelsicarum phrasium, planam explicationem continens, Frankfurt, 1612.

For an ‘encyclopaedic’ understanding of cosmospoiesis, see Giuseppe Mazzotta,

Cosmospoiesis, the Renaissance Experiment, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001.

Luigi Russo, Vedere l'invisibile. Nicea e lo statuto dell'Immagine, Palermo Aestetica

Edizioni, 19; see also: Daniel J. Sahas, Icon and logos: sources in eighth-century iconoclasm: an annotated translation of the sixth session of the seventh Ecumenical Council (Nicea, 787) ... Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1986.

An article by Deborah K Dietsch, Washington Post, Thursday June 12 2003 section H,

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