Mary Fisher was technically a food writer who infused a poetic sensibility into what had previously been ‘the recipes section’ of the newspaper. A prolific journalist, she wrote for money, to support herself and her daughters through the Great Depression. Yet her sparkling, sharp advice ended up supporting countless readers through the stress and food deprivations of WWII.
“You can still live with grace and wisdom, if you rely on your own innate sense of what you must do with the resources you have to keep the wolf from sniffing too hungrily through the keyhole.”
How To Cook A Wolf – 1942
She was a Cancerian and not only that, M.F.K. Fisher (as she was more commonly known), was a multiple conjunct Cancer: Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Neptune and the North Node. She became the prototypal lifestyle writer, intelligently chronicling phenoms such as stocking a kitchen or dealing with fussy eaters and fulfilling a therapeutic role in columns that covered how to maintain your sense of style/self-assurance in ‘ominous times.’ Her prose was so fantastic that everyone read her, even men who never intended to set food in a kitchen.
Following her instincts – to write what she needed for herself – she unintentionally forced a cultural and feminist revolution. In astrological parlance, she made the Moon mainstream. She gave ‘lunar consciousness’ a voice, paving the path for people like Martha Stewart, Elizabeth Gilbert, Anne Lamott, and Kim Sunee.
In her day and even years after she passed, she attracted criticism for her scorn toward ‘bourgeois morality’ – AKA being a bisexual, an avid traveler and a single mother. Most of it seems like abject jealousy although the protagonist of her one novel – Now But Now – is an amoral, time-travelling gourmet seductive sociopath who’s figured out a way to dimension-jump using a particular express train.
Later in life, she saw “Zen” and the “Eastern fad” of yoga as a quintessentially male indulgence: “For me there is too little of life to spend most of it forcing myself into detachment from it.” Baking, in her view, was a superior aid to serenity: “No yoga exercise, no meditation in a chapel filled with music will rid you of your blues better than the humble task of making your own bread.”
Was she or was she not the archetypal Cancerian?