On Cheese (1)

A silence fell at the mention of Gavard. They all looked at each other cautiously. As they were all rather short of breath by this time, it was the camembert they could smell. This cheese, with its gamy odour, had overpowered the milder smells of the Marolles and the Limbourg; its power was remarkable. Every … Continue reading “On Cheese (1)”

Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese. 
G.K.Chesterton, Alarms and Discursions

A silence fell at the mention of Gavard. They all looked at each other cautiously. As they were all rather short of breath by this time, it was the camembert they could smell. This cheese, with its gamy odour, had overpowered the milder smells of the Marolles and the Limbourg; its power was remarkable. Every now and then, however, a slight whiff, a flute-like note, came from the Parmesan, while the Bries came into play with their soft, musty smell, the gentle sound, so to speak, of a damp tambourine. The Livarot launched into an overwhelming reprise, and the Géromé kept up the symphony with a sustained high note.

Émile Zola, The Belly of Paris

I do like a little romance—just a sniff, as I call it, of the rocks and valleys. Of course, bread-and-cheese is the real thing. The rocks and valleys are no good at all, if you haven’t got that.

Anthony Trollope, Can You Forgive Her?

You mightn’t happen to have a piece of cheese about you, now? No? Well, many’s the long night I’ve dreamed of cheese—toasted, mostly—and woke up again, and here I were.

Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island

The train was crowded, and I had to get into a carriage where there were already seven other people. One crusty old gentleman objected, but I got in, notwithstanding; and, putting my cheeses upon the rack, squeezed down with a pleasant smile, and said it was a warm day.

A few moments passed, and then the old gentleman began to fidget.

‘Very close in here,’ he said.

‘Quite oppressive,’ said the man next him.

And then they both began sniffing, and, at the third sniff, they caught it right on the chest, and rose up without another word and went out. And then a stout lady got up, and said it was disgraceful that a respectable married woman should be harried about in this way, and gathered up a bag and eight parcels and went. The remaining four passengers sat on for a while, until a solemn-looking man in the corner, who, from his dress and general appearance, seemed to belong to the undertaker class, said it put him in mind of dead baby; and the other three passengers tried to get out of the door at the same time, and hurt themselves.

Jerome K Jerome, Three Men in a Boat

I’m as bad as anybody. Down at Bournemouth, I kicked a tray of cups up into air and one hit Luther Blissett on the head. He flicked it on and it went all over my suit hanging behind. Another time, at West Ham, I also threw a plate of sandwiches at Don Hutchison. He’s sitting there, still arguing with me, with cheese and tomato running down his face. But you can’t do that any more, especially with all the foreigners. They’d go home.

Harry Redknapp, Independent, 10 October 1999

Clerk (suddenly): What about peace? Yes peace. I’m from Bohemia. I’d like to get home once in a while.

Chaplain: Oh you would, would you? Dear old peace! What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?

Berthold Brecht, Mother Courage and Her Children

Je me souviens d’un fromage qui s’appelait la Vache sérieuse (la Vache qui rit lui a fait un procès et l’a gagné).

I remember a cheese called Serious Cow (Laughing Cow sued it and won.)

Georges Perec, Mi Ricordo

Isn’t it the natural condition of life after a certain age? … After a number of events, what is there left but repetition and diminishment? Who wants to go on living? The eccentric, the religious, the artistic (sometimes); those with a false sense of their own worth. Soft cheeses collapse; firm cheeses indurate. Both go mouldy.

Julian Barnes,  Flaubert’s Parrot

A corpse is meat gone bad. Well and what’s cheese? Corpse of milk.

James Joyce, Ulysses

Sometimes I think I’m liquefying like an old Camembert.

Gustave Flaubert in Susannah Patton, A Journey into Flaubert’s Normandy

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