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Comfort (and Discomfort) Food: Social Surrogacy and Embodied Memory in Real and Reel Life

Comfort (and Discomfort) Food: Social Surrogacy and Embodied Memory in Real and Reel Life

Chapter:
(p.182) Comfort (and Discomfort) Food: Social Surrogacy and Embodied Memory in Real and Reel Life
Source:
Comfort Food
Author(s):
LuAnne Roth
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496810847.003.0011

Much research on “comfort food” focuses on the emotional and physiological effect of consuming food in order to positively arouse emotions or relieve negative psychological states. This paper focuses on the role of memory in comfort (and discomfort) food by comparing key cinematic food scenes with essays reflecting on foods laden with emotional, autobiographical, and symbolic significance (aka Proust’s “madeleine”). Film’s ability to juxtapose image and sound—ingestion and associated flashbacks—renders the medium uniquely adept at representing organoleptic properties, the emotional weight of eating, social surrogacy, and food’s profound ability to evoke memories both positive and negative. 

Keywords:   Discomfort, Cinema, Emotions, Social surrogacy, Memories

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