Our Daily Bread
by Predrag Matvejević
Our Daily Bread charmingly weaves together the customs, rituals, anecdotes, legends and sayings that tell the story of bread, from Mesopotamia, through Egypt, to the Far East, ancient Greece, ancient Rome, and the New World.
Matvejević shows how bread is depicted in literature and art (with beautiful illustrations) and examines especially closely the role of bread in the major world religions, drawing from the Bible, Talmud and Quran, but also at various apocryphal texts.
In his seventh and last chapter, his narrative moves to the personal, explaining what motivated him to write this book; the lean years of his childhood during World War II and his father’s detention in a German concentration camp. Warning about the pending threat of hunger in the “developed world,” the book fittingly ends with a quote from the Russian anarchist Pyotr Kropotkin: “The question of bread must take precedence over all other questions.”
Praise for the author:
“In the best possible way, Predrag personified the universal role of literature and the spirit of PEN International. Even under the dangerous political pressure, Predrag maintained his faith, humour and charms. . .. When he was nominated for the Nobel Prize for literature by a group of Italian writers, including Umberto Eco, Predrag was deeply moved, but commented that he had not deserved it.”
Boris A. Novak, PEN International Vice-President
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