Writers and booze
Why is it, that in order to be a writer of any standard above boring, you have to have a serious relationship with some vice that is only cool by reason of your literary skills? Or your characters must?
Hunter Thompson, for instance, advocated the absolute surrender to alcoholic beverages and drugs in order to facilitate creative flow. He was under the serious impression that the day he gave up booze and drugs, he was finished as a writer. He was a myth long before he offed himself, but received a revival in popular culture with Johnny Depp’s interpretation of him in ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’.
And then we have the whole scene of crime fiction USA, dating from the 20s and 30s, where the harder the detective, the more he was liqueured up. Off course this fascination most probably stems from the whole prohibition era, and indulgence in illegal substances have always been of more appeal than your average cup of coffee. Raymond Chandler with his protagonist, Philip Marlowe, sink down one bourbon-gin-whiskey after another, get caught up in femmes fatales (another addiction that is life threatening) and shoot their way out of trouble. Guns, women, alcohol, what more can a life-fleeing writer desire?
Does literary creativity of the good kind stem from these liquid brave-makers? Or is the gift of creativity so painful that it must be alleviated by any kind of mind-droning substance, that can move the responsibility of the outcome away from the writer and put it in a realm of its very own?
My favorite drinks are Strawberry Frozen Daquiry, Cuba Libre and Mojito. I wonder what strange concoction of writer I will turn out to be…