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“This is a book of luminous intelligence. At once impeccably erudite and highly readable, textually focused and imaginatively wide-ranging, it opens up new ways of understanding not only the early modern texts that are central to Kadue’s argument, but any form of writing where labor is distributed, symbolically or literally, across a gender divide.”
— Terence Cave, St John’s College, University of Oxford
“Kadue teaches her reader to pay attention to metaphors of pickling, maceration, sweeping, tinkering, mending; to quiet the din of warfare and the choir of resurrection, and listen to the burble of cookery and of the hungry body, in their daily rivalry with time. . . . Domestic Georgic
will teach scholars and students alike to read in a different register, and its pages are lucid, lively, and shrewd, at once sophisticated and unpretentious.”
— Jeff Dolven, Princeton University
“Where earlier feminist scholars have shown that women’s domestic labor facilitated men’s literary work, here Kadue argues that the method of men’s literary work itself drew on women’s domestic labor. Kadue shows how practices of pickling, fermenting, and preserving make up a surprising pantry of skilled literary techniques. This is work that gives us a recipe to reread the Renaissance.”
— Katherine Ibbett, Trinity College, University of Oxford
"As Katie Kadue points out in Domestic Georgic: Labors of Preservation from Rabelais to Milton, a wonderful book on early modern writers and the kitchen arts, Eve’s independent forays into drying and preserving the fruits of Eden yield a counterintuitive understanding of perfection itself, not as a fixed state from which one must not swerve but as a dynamic process of trial, innocent error, and gradual improvement."
— Catherine Nicholson
In an elegantly organized and beautifully written book of five chapters plus an introduction and conclusion, Kadue ranges confidently across time, terrain, and language, moving from Rabelais (in the mid-sixteenth century) to Milton in the mid- and late seventeenth century and concluding with a discussion of two poems by women, one eighteenth century and one twenty-first century. Balancing a sharp eye for detail against a robust overarching argument, she offers both new insights into familiar authors and works and a new rubric one might use to discuss other texts and authors as well.
"Katie Kadue’s book makes an important contribution, defining domestic georgic, and how selected authors from Rabelais to Milton labor to preserve a kind of poetic housekeeping or daily literary chores."
— Renaissance and Reformation