The Anatomy Of Melancholy: Episode 6

Non-captioned version can be seen

In contrast to the ethereal wonder of the previous chapter. here we are dealing with a baser matter: food. What, if we eat it, will make us melancholic?

Well, the answer seems to be most things and one of the eye stretching aspects of this episode is learning how many things we might even consider eating. It is a reminder of how narrow our apparently varied diet is. Now days in Britain if a meat eater ventures beyond chicken, beef, pork or lamb they might consider themselves partaking in exotica, maybe duck in a Chinese restaurant or goat from a Jamaican take-away, venison in a gastro-pub, a turkey at Christmas if they’re not going crazy and getting a goose, but swan or sheldrake? What the hell! It’s the same with fish, in the chippy going for the haddock is considered a bit left field, presumably they don’t stock carp as they account it ‘a muddy fish’.

It’s amusing to learn that Pythagoras has opinions of diet as well as triangles and reassuring to hear the author conclude, after all this conflicting advice, that trying following too strict a diet is more likely to make you miserable than the food itself.

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