22 February 2013 4:07 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

From James Bond's boiled eggs to Queequeg's beefsteak, the first bite of the day is one of literature's less celebrated themes

In fiction, breakfast is far from omnipresent. We generally assume that it must be happening but, like a character going to the loo or scratching their knee, off-camera. When the American poet Anne Sexton declared that breakfast is "the sexiest meal of the day", she may as well have been saying "it's another of those things we don't talk about".

When we do witness breakfast, it is usually because the author is trying to tell us something about the person eating it. Breakfast is the most habitual meal of the day, a routine so key to inner wellbeing that Hunter S Thompson called it a "psychic anchor", drawing, uncharacteristically, on an image of weighty predictability. If somebody is having toast with marmalade this morning (or, in the case of Thompson, »

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