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Bookish cakes: from Proust to Barbara Pym

1 month ago   |   By The Spectator

When the smug posts about using the lockdown to read Proust began popping up on Instagram, I thought of that quip about the most famous cake in literature.
I think it was Nora Ephron who said there's a reason everyone's heard of Proust's madeleine - because it's in the first chapter.
Few of us have made it past the opening pages of Swann's Way, yet these plump little sponge cakes that look ‘as if they were moulded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim's shell' have become one of the most well-known metaphors in literature.
Literary cakes are a comforting and convenient conduit to a supposedly...
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