“By this time he’d opened a new bottle of tequila and was quaffing it down….He sliced the grapefruit into quarters…then into eighths…then sixteenths…then he began slashing aimlessly at the residue.” So goes Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. And there it is.

For Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable MealsDinah Fried took about 50 passages about food in popular novels, cooked them as meals and arranged and photographed it all as neat little tableaux.

See Alice In Wonderland’s table with “nothing on it but tea,” the pile of “old, half-rotten vegetables; bones from the evening meal, covered in white sauce that had gone hard; a few raisins and almonds; some cheese that Gregor had declared inedible two days before; a dry roll and some bread spread with butter and salt” from The Metamorphosis, and the spread that made Ignatius sniff the “fumes from Paradise with great sensory pleasure, the protruding hairs in his nostrils analyzing, cataloging, categorizing, and classifying the distinct odors of the hot dog, mustard, and lubricant” in A Confederacy of Dunces. 

There’s a certain crisp sterility that comes with such clean interpretations, but it’s fun to analyze, catalog, categorize and really really organize, sometimes. See Fried’s recent interview with NPR here. (Images: Dinah Fried via Fictitious Dishes)