Calvin Trillin’s In-Flight Gourmand Picnic

Calvin Trillin’s In-Flight Gourmand Picnic

Trillin’s joke about his “no-frills picnic” while en route from New York to Miami is a tongue-in-cheek report of the consequences of his wife Alice’s frugality that he calls “Law of Compensatory Cashflow.” Because Trillin always (almost) defers to Alice’s superior...
Edna Ferber’s Barbacoa Picnic

Edna Ferber’s Barbacoa Picnic

Giant is Ferber’s novel about how a Virginia belle, Leslie Lynnton, learns to be a Texan. Among her lessons is what to eat during a Texas-style picnic at her husband Reata,  Jordan’s ranch. At first, Leslie realizes that what she is looking at is “no ordinary picnic...
Mynherr Pieter Peeperkorn’s Picnic in The Magic Mountain

Mynherr Pieter Peeperkorn’s Picnic in The Magic Mountain

Imagine a man of dominant personality, Peeperkorn, standing before a raging waterfall telling his friends of his impending suicide. Imagine, too, that no one can hear him over the chaotic rumbling of the water. one of the friends, Ludovico Settemmbrini, who had often...
Leonora Carrington’s Surrealistic Pastoral Picnic

Leonora Carrington’s Surrealistic Pastoral Picnic

As with many of Carrington’s surrealistic paintings, they are enigmas. Maybe they are snapshots of her inner life—a mix of personal relationships, dreams, alchemy, astrology, myth, and probably alcohol and drugs influence all. You may find the compositions appealing...
Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazon’s Picnic

Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazon’s Picnic

Arthur Ransome’s juvenile novel Swallows and Amazons takes its name from the Swallow and the Amazon, two fourteen-foot dinghies the children of the Walker and Blackett families sail in Coniston Lake in the English Lake District. Many of their adventures take place on...

Barbara Kingsolver’s Picnic in the Jungle

Among ruined picnics, Kingsolver’s Congo picnic ranks high. It’s a highlight of misadventure in The Poisonwood Wood Bible, a novel the name of which is derived from a misunderstanding of local language. When Reverend Nathan Price says, “Tata Jesus is...
“The Pic-Nic” Song

“The Pic-Nic” Song

Corny picnic satire was long in vogue in the English music before Gilbert and Sullivan’s Thespis, or The Gods Grown Old premiered in 1871. [Posted elsewhere on PicnicWit.Com] “The Pic-Nic” an 1829 song (sung to the air of “Here’s the Maiden of Bashful Fifteen,” from...
Fish Fry Picnics in The Green Pastures

Fish Fry Picnics in The Green Pastures

Broadway audiences ignored issues of racial stereotyping in The Green Pastures, Marc Connelly’s dramatization of Roark Bradford’s Ol’ Man Adam. * How charming to see African American angels with white wings dressed in brightly colored robes preparing for their eternal...
Charles McCarry’s Picnic on the Grass

Charles McCarry’s Picnic on the Grass

The picnic in Charles McCarry’s The Secret Lovers, a Cold War spy-versus-spy novel, is a sly allusion to Édouard Manet’s Le déjeuner sur l’herbe. When Paul Christopher’s boss David Patchen complains that Impressionists bore him and “Picnics explain nothing,” Paul...