Günter Grass’ Barbaric Picnic in The Flounder

Günter Grass’ Barbaric Picnic in The Flounder

Grass’ unconventional picnic in The Flounder (1977) is among the worst. Not only does Grass mock the accepted idea of a picnic but in doing so turns Greek mythology topsy-turvy. It’s an episode in which the key figure is Sybille, aka Billie, a name that is a variation...
Frankenstein’s only Picnic

Frankenstein’s only Picnic

James whale’s  picnic is among the most sparkling and campy picnics. It’s humor ,intended or not is obvious. For me, it’s among the best in film or elsewhere. A must see. When she a picnicked on Montanvert overlooking the Mer de Glace during a European...
Virginia Woolf’s picnic on Monte Rosa (The Voyage Out)

Virginia Woolf’s picnic on Monte Rosa (The Voyage Out)

Woolf’s picnic on the summit of Monte Rosa, a fictional place in South America, is the high point (pun intended) of The Voyage Out (1915). Journeying on donkeys walking in single file, the narrator creates the image of “a jointed caterpillar, tufted with the white...
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...