States of Salt

In what I consider a tour de force Adam Mars-Jones gives us in The Waters of Thirst a narration with a single point of view for pages and pages. From beginning to end of this novel, our author animates a narrator who has a kidney condition who happens to be an excellent cook who in his comments on his cookery laments the limitations imposed on his ability to season and does so in terms of the raw and the cooked.

It grieved me to cook without salt, and to leave my guests to season their food at table individually. It felt uncivilized. But more than that, the two tastes are quite different, cooked salt and raw. Raw salt is brash and unsubtle; it has had no chance to permeate a dish. I felt I was shortchanging our guests by offering only the crudest form of seasoning, as if I didn't know better.
So very tempting to read metaphor at work. (And shades of Levi-Straus). But this is the same narrator that anatomizes nicely the various pieces of a porn collection (in much the same fashion as he comments on the niceties of seasoning).

And so for day 797