Friday, May 30, 2014
A Maine Gazetteer:Lobsters
There is one beast that is not yet fished out, and that is the world champion of icons, the
lobster. Nobody really knows why it’s still so abundant.
It’s hard to imagine an animal more identified with a particular state or even country. “You must eat a lot of lobster,” people invariably say when we tell them we have a house in
Maine. “Well, not
really,” we say. They immediately follow with “Well, do you have a boat?” (That
answer is also “No.” Worried looks appear on their faces, and the topic
changes.) The reasons for the lobster’s fame? Perhaps a lobster steaming on an
urban table is an instant invocation of a simpler way of life. Perhaps we want
to believe there is still some pure cold wilderness left. Perhaps the solitary
and independent life of a Maine
lobsterman pulls at our mind strings.
Perhaps it just tastes good. It’s certainly true that the totality of
its image is far greater than the sum of its tropes.
Excerpted from Saving Maine: A Personal Gazetteer