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.
“Write drunk; edit sober” is Hemingway’s much-quoted advice. But the rat-arsed aren’t capable of writing. After a point, the crutch becomes a cudgel.