writes The Austerity Kitchen—where the alimentary is elementary. Her work has been featured by Dissent, Lapham's Quarterly Roundtable, MAX JOSEPH and Bon Appétit, and she has appeared on Heritage Radio Network's A Taste of the Past. She can be reached at theausteritykitchen [at] gmail [dot] com.
In precapitalist times wealth was considered neither a rational consequence of thrift and smart investment nor evidence of some inborn excellence. Rather, it was regarded as status enjoyed at the sufferance of providence and was therefore subject to revocation. A sudden turn of Fortune's wheel and Dives became Lazarus; Lazarus, Dives. Giving charity appeared, then,
There was a time when late-night wakefulness wasn't something to be dreaded but welcomed. Centuries ago, sleepers woke with pleasure, even eagerness. Between "first" and "second" sleep, so called, men, women and children stirred to enjoy activities domestic and romantic, spiritual and intellectual.
The cosmopolitan leisure that the Parisian café has come to symbolize belies its humbler origin. The story of its emergence is written in blood and fire, namely, that which was spilled and ignited during the Napoleonic Wars.
If all that's solid melted into air under conditions of capitalism, parlor games and similar practices acted as so many bladders to capture this sublimated social stuff that was formerly so reliably substantial.
A newly revised Starting Out is in order. But what would such a thing look like? Under my editorship it would be present- rather than future-oriented, and it would exult an ethic of making do. Entire chapters would be devoted to advice on living, if not stylishly, then passably while servicing debt. It would be