The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Sep 3, 2014

Strangest Man's Food

It was only when he was in his 80s that Paul Dirac's digestive ailment was finally diagnosed. Eating, for him, was a chore and a burden. 
Dirac always felt out of place at fancy college dinners. Rich food, vintage wine, antiquated formalities, florid speeches, the fetid smoke of after-dinner cigars - all were anathema to him. So he was probably not looking forward to the evening of Wednesday, 9 November 1927, when he was to be one of the toasts of a dinner to celebrate the election of three new fellows to St John's College. He was now certifiably a 'first-rate man', with a permanent seat at the college's high table. [...] Dirac celebrated his election to the fellowship in the traditional way, by consuming an eight course meal that included oysters, a consommé, cream of chicken soup, sole, veal escalope and spinach, pheasant with five vegetables and side salad, and three desserts. For him, the meal was not so much a celebration as a penance.


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