by Mavis Gallant
Chose cinema over potatoes. I found myself watching the women’s clothes, drinking in their texture, appreciating every bite the actors put into their mouths. When one of the characters (because of some imbecility of the plot) wore old clothes and pretended to be poor, I was furious and felt cheated, having chosen this over a meal. Now I really understand why the Italian poor detest De Sica and neorealist films, and why shopgirls like heiresses and read every line in gossip columns. I mean, I understand it, and not just intellectually.
Mavis Gallant, ‘The Hunger Diaries: An artist’s apprenticeship,’ in The New Yorker, July 9 & 16, 2012 p 50