ConceptEuropeFictitious Feasts by Charles Roux

Food is essential in life, and in some people’s lives, literature is too. The photographer Charles Roux has been thinking about the links between them and the result is Fictitious Feasts.

Food is essential in life, and in some people’s lives, literature is too. The photographer Charles Roux has been thinking about the links between them and the result is Fictitious Feasts. He claims that, within a large selection of books, food scenes are actually relevant in terms of metaphors and human behaviours, at the service of a sensorial experience.

We all have been dreaming when reading the descriptions of the « eat me » cakes in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, we all craved for the madeleines in Swann’s Way. The literary realm is rich of mouthwatery descriptions of meals.

Roux’s process was long and he proves to be a hardworker : indeed, he decided to work on that project all on his own, doing the reading and rereading of fiction, literary criticism and cooking books ; collecting and gathering props from his family, friends, antique stores and even a cinema renting store (for Leopold Bloom’s tea in Ulysses).

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Boule de Suif, Guy de Maupassant
Fictitious Feasts / Charles Roux

Each indivual scene was created after a thorough reading and interpretation of the book, as Roux explains « following instincts and feelings about how we feel about the atmosphere when reading ». The attention to details is remarkable, and Roux shot his pictures in real backgrounds, with real food that he cooked himself. He faced the snowy Italian Alps to picture The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis) in which delicious Turkish Delights were described, or entered an abandoned castle to create the gloomy scenery of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame.

Paying particular attention to details, Roux explains that he took a lot of notes on his books, and recreate the written and unwritten details. Some books are rich of descriptions, but others are rather opaque and leave a greater room to intepretation and imagination of the photographer. « I wanted to reach a point where ficiton and reality meet ». Both reading and taking pictures are rather personal and solitary practices.

Charles Roux is still working on the project, and is hoping to turn Fictitious Feasts into a book, to fulfil the whole purpose and come full circle, « from book to book ». He is currently looking for a publisher. You can follow the progression over his website or his instragram account.

About Charles Roux

Charles Roux attended Paris photo school Icart Photo and graduated as first of the year, and receveid the first rank for his end-of-studies portfolio « Fictitious Feasts ». His fondness for literature and histoiry also led him to attend Paris universities in Spanish Civilizations, English Literature, and Philosophy. Photography is the way Charles and copes with cratives rushes of mind, and his particular vision over the world and over life. Everything is a matter of stories, of atmosphere and emotions. His work has been displayed online and in galleries abroad. « Fictitious Feasts » was part of 2014 Head On Festival. Charles is currently living and working in Paris and Europe. [Official Website]

Fictitious Feasts / Charles Roux
Fictitious Feasts / Charles Roux

Goldilocks and the Three Bears_Fictitious Feasts Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress_Fictitious Feasts Chronicles of Narnia_Fictitious Feasts Heidi_Fictitious Feasts The Bluest Eye, T.Morrison To the Lighthouse_Fictitious Feasts

Fictitious Feasts / Charles Roux
Fictitious Feasts / Charles Roux

From 'Fictitious Feasts', work about food scenes in literature. Here the memory of the avocado crabmeat salad, with the bell jar, symbol of death and despair, from the American novel"The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath.
From ‘Fictitious Feasts’, work about food scenes in literature. Here the memory of the avocado crabmeat salad, with the bell jar, symbol of death and despair, from the American novel”The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath.

From 'Fictitious Feasts', work about food scenes in literature. Here the scene of eternal red beans and a fork with the narrator's blood, from the French novel "Viper in the fist" (Vipère au poing) by Hervé Bazin
From ‘Fictitious Feasts’, work about food scenes in literature. Here the scene of eternal red beans and a fork with the narrator’s blood, from the French novel “Viper in the fist” (Vipère au poing) by Hervé Bazin

From 'Fictitious Feasts', work about food scenes in literature. Here a sancocho dish with dead flowers and tropical fruits, from teh Colombian novel "Love in the times of cholera" (El amor en los tiempos del colera) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
From ‘Fictitious Feasts’, work about food scenes in literature. Here a sancocho dish with dead flowers and tropical fruits, from teh Colombian novel “Love in the times of cholera” (El amor en los tiempos del colera) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

From 'Fictitious Feasts', work about food scenes in literature. Here in the Spouter-inn, the chapter dedicated to the clam chowder, from the American novel "Moby Dick, or the Whale" by Herman Melville
From ‘Fictitious Feasts’, work about food scenes in literature. Here in the Spouter-inn, the chapter dedicated to the clam chowder, from the American novel “Moby Dick, or the Whale” by Herman Melville

From 'Fictitious Feasts', work about food scenes in literature. Here in Gregor Samsa's bedroom, the rotten food and bowl of milk, from the Czech novel "The Metamorphpsis" (Die Verwandlung) by Franz Kafka
From ‘Fictitious Feasts’, work about food scenes in literature. Here in Gregor Samsa’s bedroom, the rotten food and bowl of milk, from the Czech novel “The Metamorphpsis” (Die Verwandlung) by Franz Kafka

From 'Fictitious Feasts', work about food scenes in literature. Here in one of the numerous occurences of sandwiches and malted milk in solitude scenes, from the American novel "The Catcher in the Rye" by David Jerome Salinger
From ‘Fictitious Feasts’, work about food scenes in literature. Here in one of the numerous occurences of sandwiches and malted milk in solitude scenes, from the American novel “The Catcher in the Rye” by David Jerome Salinger

From 'Fictitious Feasts', work about food scenes in literature. Here a lentils dish with manuscripts in an inn , from the Spanish novel "The ingenious Hidalgo Don Quijote of la Mancha" (El ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha) by Miguel de Cervantes
From ‘Fictitious Feasts’, work about food scenes in literature. Here a lentils dish with manuscripts in an inn , from the Spanish novel “The ingenious Hidalgo Don Quijote of la Mancha” (El ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha) by Miguel de Cervantes

From 'Fictitious Feasts', work about food scenes in literature. Here a watery gruel in the orphanage, from the English novel "Oliver Twist" by Charles Dickens
From ‘Fictitious Feasts’, work about food scenes in literature. Here a watery gruel in the orphanage, from the English novel “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens

From 'Fictitious Feasts', work about food scenes in literature. Here a threatening forest in which the galette and the jar of butter lie with the red velvet coat, from the French tale "Little Red Riding Hood" (Le Petit Chaperon Rouge) by Charles Perrault
From ‘Fictitious Feasts’, work about food scenes in literature. Here a threatening forest in which the galette and the jar of butter lie with the red velvet coat, from the French tale “Little Red Riding Hood” (Le Petit Chaperon Rouge) by Charles Perrault

From 'Fictitious Feasts', work about food scenes in literature. Here the mad tea marty with the Hatter and the Hare, from the English novels "Alice's adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking-Glass" by Lewis Carroll.
From ‘Fictitious Feasts’, work about food scenes in literature. Here the mad tea marty with the Hatter and the Hare, from the English novels “Alice’s adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass” by Lewis Carroll.

From 'Fictitious Feasts', work about food scenes in literature. Here a childhood scene at gloomy Lowood School, when Jane Eyre and Helen Burns share a seed-cake and enjoy the heat of a fire, from the English novel "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Brontë.
From ‘Fictitious Feasts’, work about food scenes in literature. Here a childhood scene at gloomy Lowood School, when Jane Eyre and Helen Burns share a seed-cake and enjoy the heat of a fire, from the English novel “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë.

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Fictitious Feasts / Charles Roux

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