J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists
Volume 1, Number 1, Spring 2013
pp. 71-96 | 10.1353/jnc.2013.0017
This essay illuminates the function of Domingo in Emily Dickinson’s work by examining a far-reaching set of debates about food, race, and poetics in the nineteenth century. By pairing her writings with freewoman Malinda Russell’s recently recovered _A Domestic Cook Book_ (1866), this culinary approach shows how Dickinson’s “taste” of race shiftd after the Civil War: from a bittersweet aftertaste of the Haitian Revolution to an intensely sweet expeirment in aesthetic freedom. The essay ends by connecting the emergence of culinary science to Dickinson’s initial reception. Whereas her poetics racialize taste, early readers used taste to racialize Dickinson’s poetics. Reading Emily Dickinson in, with, and through Domingo reconstitutes sensory tatse and aesthetic taste as a synthesis of racial, gustatory, and literary encounters.