Monday, 11 October 2010

Idleness spread on a perfect peanutbutter sandwich

How do you feel about Sunday nights?

They come in different hues, from candy-floss melancholy to damn sticky depression. Oh, you can enjoy them, but only in as much as you are prepared to transgress the sado-masochistic boundary and give in to the fun of endless numbing telly watching, always horizontal, always you'll start afresh, you'll be focused, disciplined and live your life to the full. But for now...for now, you have the full right to be lazy, to be a sloth, to experience that sense of ennui..

The ultimate symbol of laziness - Oblomov: then and now by Boris Kulikov.

Russians have perfected this state of idleness to such an extent that there is even a well-worn term to describe the condition - oblomovshina. Oblomov was a character of the 19th century novel by Ivan Goncharev, whose symbol of the superfluous man staying in bed, unable to make decisions, has become mythical, quoted and used to explain the wrongness of everything from the Russian October revolution to Russians' weakness for vodka. As Lenin famously said:

Russia has made three revolutions, and still the Oblomovs have remained... and he must be washed, cleaned, pulled about, and flogged for a long time before any kind of sense will emerge.

( I particularly like the reference to flogging by the way)

Food of course is an exception (provided you have a devoted serf or two, or a local take-away). If I remember correctly Oblomov spent his days languorously moving from breakfast to brunch to dinner, then tea and supper.

For a lazy man,” Goncharov explains, “recumbence” is a “pleasure..

Peanut butter by

Peanut butter, I propose, is the solidified epitome of this state of mindless non-doing. It is smooth, even the crunchy version lets you slip each nut without resistance. It is so intensely savoury and sweet at the same time that all foods go well with it, letting you forget the good and bad: bread, with honey, pieces of fruit, yoghurt, other nuts, biscuits, bananas, salami, gherkins, with bacon or just its fat as I found the night before...a jar can be consumed slowly and exuberantly with just a spoon: so little effort, so much calorie. A perfect Oblomov meal.

How do you like your peanut butter?


Marina said...

Let's go to Hot Pepper Tree in Crouch End - that's where I got hooked on the American sandwich (bacon, peanut butter + hot pepper jam). And you can get a couple of jars of the jam to go - to continue in the comfort of your own home...
First... time I tried peanut butter (exactly the spooning) coincided with my first time stoned. That was very funny. Amazing gastronomic experience. Still not sure what gave me the highs.

Alex said...

I love this!

Katrina said...

@ Marina - peanut butter, chilli and bacon - I'm wonder peanut butter is famed as a perfect accompaniment for a healthy dose of dope! not that I need additional appetite stimulants, mind you

Tijen said...

Hmmm peanut butter! I haven't had it for a long time but I remember, when I was living in Boston, I was getting it freshly made (chunky) from my food coop. My favorite way to eat was: I was spreading it on rice cakes, spread some honey and finish with slices of bananas. Like a bomb!

Katrina said...

Tijen, your version is adorable! I love it too, but:):) on a slice of nice crisp toast!