Friday, July 18, 2008


I Was My Best Companion

M.F.K. Fisher, "A is for dining Alone," An Alphabet for Gourmets (1949), rpt. in The Art of Eating: The Collected Gastronomical Works of M.F.K. Fisher (Cleveland: World Publishing Co., 1954), pp. 577-583 (at 581):
I felt firmly then, as I do this very minute, that snug misanthropic solitude is better than hit-or-miss congeniality. If One could not be with me, "feasting in silent sympathy," then I was my best companion.
Companion is the mot juste here. See Online Etymology Dictionary, s.v. companion:
1297, from O.Fr. compaignon "fellow, mate," from L.L. companionem (nom. companio), lit. "bread fellow, messmate," from L. com- "with" + panis "bread." Found first in 6c. Frankish Lex Salica, and probably a translation of a Gmc. word (cf. Gothic gahlaiba "messmate," from hlaib "loaf of bread"). Replaced O.E. gefera "traveling companion," from faran "go, fare."
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