Posts Tagged: alcohol
Whoever the culprit, we clearly like our geniuses to be “consumed” by their craft, and we like them tortured—and if possible, drunk.
At The New Republic, Michelle Dean writes about the myth of the tortured, alcoholic writer and how that image carries a different weight if that writer is a woman....more
How many different words are there for “intoxicated”? Quite a lot, as it turns out—writers have been inventing new words to describe inebriation for just about as long as they’ve been drinking. A new book exploring the history of synonyms of wasted reveals the origins of some five hundred years of poggled language....more
Whether glamorized or pitied, the figure of the alcoholic writer has long been a subject of cultural fascination. Having written a book on the usual suspects—Hemingway, Fitzgerald, et al.—Olivia Laing asks the unfortunately necessary follow-up question: okay, but what about the women?...more
I worked the same way with alcohol and drugs, and my whiskey elves, my beasts, never disappointed. I mean, they didn’t always write the prettiest prose — cocaine isn’t known to instill poetry — but they usually unearthed interesting images and haunting motifs.
You didn’t ask directly about gender, but I’ll answer anyway: I stuck with men for a more personal reason, which is that my experience as a child was with a female alcoholic and the subject was just too painful for me.
Alcohol and authors. It’s a subject so old and rich and fraught you could write a book on it—which is exactly what Olivia Laing did.
That book is called The Trip to Echo Spring: Why Writers Drink, and Blake Morrison’s review of it in the Guardian is itself a great essay on the subject, covering writers’ love and loathing of liquor in real life and on the page....more
According to a new study, “beer makes men smarter,” or more scientifically stated, drinking alcohol “may enhance creativity problem solving by reducing the mind’s working memory capacity, which is the ability to concentrate on something in particular.”
While these findings were deemed surprising, what’s more curious is that the study didn’t include the ladies....more
Why is the second person such a natural and addictive tense–perhaps the only honest one–when writing about drug abuse and a foggy recovery?
For years, you haven’t been able to stop asking this question. Reading Patrick deWitt’s Ablutions: Notes for a Novel, you are asking it again, vocally (a real dinner-party silencer), by mistake or with motivations hidden from even yourself....more
Winter has finally come to south Florida, which means I’ll spend part of the afternoon moving our pepper plants indoors, to protect them from the bitter 40 degree weather that’s dropping by for a day or two. Don’t hate.
I tried fantasy football a couple of times and couldn’t figure it out....more
Rarely have I seen a Christopher Hitchens TV interview in which the atheistic author of God is Not Great isn’t knocking back an ice-clinking glass of whiskey of some brand or another. Yet, I never knew Hitch’s hootch of choice was Johnny Walker Black Label until I read a first-person account posted on the brainstorms blog of an evening spent with the God-searing, well-oiled polemicist....more