Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Thanksgiving: the Meta-Feast

At their heart, Christmas and Thanksgiving share some central purpose: to bring the family together round food, to celebrate being together. In both feasts,the majestic, and much-maligned, turkey rules the roost. But Thanksgiving is different in one crucial, and for me exciting, respect. There is something magnificent in the idea of what the great French structuralists might have dubbed a meta-feast: that's to say, fancy epithets aside, an occasion when the very purpose of the feast is to celebrate the feasting. Thanksgiving really is about the food itself. Most crucially, it is about American food, a glorification of the luck of living in a world of plenty.

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