Posts by: Gilbert Alter-Gilbert

Nicotine Chic: Writers as Smokers

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Colette, Sartre & de Beauvoir (facsimiles), Mayakovsky “Smoking I find the most ridiculous of all the varieties of human behavior and practically the only one that is entirely against nature. Can you imagine a cow or any animal taking a mouthful of smoldering straw then breathing in the smoke and blowing it out through its […]

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A Tipsy Tribute to the Leading Literary Lush of the Emerald Isle: Brendan Behan

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At least as well known for his boozing as for his books, iconic Irish author Brendan Behan (1923 – 1964) was a rollicking, larger-than-life Gaelic knockabout—a foul-mouthed, furry-chested stereotype of the drunken Paddy. In fact, the polemical playwright and legendary dipsomaniac once sardonically summarized himself as “a drinker with writing problems.” Behan was, at one […]

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Why Don Pedro Drinks

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“Why Don Pedro Drinks” by José Marín Cañas Translated by Gilbert Alter-Gilbert “Why Don Pedro Drinks” is from José Marín Cañas’ 1929 collection of crepuscular tales about alcoholics, The Rum Bums (Los bigardos del ron). Nobody had any idea, until that night, what made Don Pedro drink.

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