jueves, octubre 08, 2009

El fin de Gourmet y David Foster Wallace

Hace unos días Condé Nast, el gran grupo editorial estadounidense, informó del cierre de cuatro revistas, entre ellas Gourmet. Como es tradición de las buenas revistas de ese país, para algunos números se sumaban escritores y cronistas que, casi sin límites de espacio, construían el prestigio de esas ediciones. Muchas ella, hoy son de colección. En 2004, David Foster Wallace recibió el encargo de ir al festival de la Langosta de Main. Wallace, quien se suicidó en septiembre del año pasado, construyó una crónica que no toma como eje la "alegría" de una festividad que suma 12 mil kilos de este crustáceo, sino que prefiere agregar al entorno del festival, la discusión sobre la posibilidad neurológica del dolor de la langosta al morir hervida viva. "Me parece poco probable que muchos lectores de Gourmet estén dispuestos a que les pregunten sin son morales su hábitos gastronómicos, menos en su revista", pregunta Wallace, quien sin embargo, lo hace en todo texto. El artículo después se convirtió en un libro que sumó trabajos periodísticos de este gran escritor. En fin, este es un homenaja a una revista que se va y a un cronista quien, como dice Martín Caparrós, no estaba para escribir historias anodinas.

The enormous, pungent, and extremely well marketed Maine Lobster Festival is held every late July in the state’s midcoast region, meaning the western side of Penobscot Bay, the nerve stem of Maine’s lobster industry. What’s called the midcoast runs from Owl’s Head and Thomaston in the south to Belfast in the north. (Actually, it might extend all the way up to Bucksport, but we were never able to get farther north than Belfast on Route 1, whose summer traffic is, as you can imagine, unimaginable.) The region’s two main communities are Camden, with its very old money and yachty harbor and five-star restaurants and phenomenal B&Bs, and Rockland, a serious old fishing town that hosts the Festival every summer in historic Harbor Park, right along the water.1

Tourism and lobster are the midcoast region’s two main industries, and they’re both warm-weather enterprises, and the Maine Lobster Festival represents less an intersection of the industries than a deliberate collision, joyful and lucrative and loud. The assigned subject of this article is the 56th Annual MLF, July 30 to August 3, 2003, whose official theme was “Lighthouses, Laughter, and Lobster.” Total paid attendance was over 80,000, due partly to a national CNN spot in June during which a Senior Editor of a certain other epicurean magazine hailed the MLF as one of the best food-themed festivals in the world. 2003 Festival highlights: concerts by Lee Ann Womack and Orleans, annual Maine Sea Goddess beauty pageant, Saturday’s big parade, Sunday’s William G. Atwood Memorial Crate Race, annual Amateur Cooking Competition, carnival rides and midway attractions and food booths, and the MLF’s Main Eating Tent, where something over 25,000 pounds of fresh-caught Maine lobster is consumed after preparation in the World’s Largest Lobster Cooker near the grounds’ north entrance. Also available are lobster rolls, lobster turnovers, lobster sauté, Down East lobster salad, lobster bisque, lobster ravioli, and deep-fried lobster dumplings. Lobster Thermidor is obtainable at a sit-down restaurant called The Black Pearl on Harbor Park’s northwest wharf. A large all-pine booth sponsored by the Maine Lobster Promotion Council has free pamphlets with recipes, eating tips, and Lobster Fun Facts. The winner of Friday’s Amateur Cooking Competition prepares Saffron Lobster Ramekins, the recipe for which is available for public downloading at www.mainelobsterfestival.com. There are lobster T-shirts and lobster bobblehead dolls and inflatable lobster pool toys and clamp-on lobster hats with big scarlet claws that wobble on springs. Your assigned correspondent saw it all, accompanied by one girlfriend and both his own parents—one of which parents was actually born and raised in Maine, albeit in the extreme northern inland part, which is potato country and a world away from the touristic midcoast.

2 Comentarios:

Blogger Marcos dijo...

Qué excelente texto el de DFW. De los mejores que le he leído.

5:06 p. m.  
Anonymous patojara dijo...

andrés, yo lo tengo.
te lo empresto...

2:33 p. m.  

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