Archive for Big Readers A place for discussing books and all things bookish.
 


       Big Readers Forum Index -> Things that don't fit anywhere else
Melony

Drinking Deeply

I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.  I am researching foods for an article on Faulkner and I came across a book called Hemingway and Bailey's Bartending Guide to Great American Writers.  It highlights what famous American writers liked to imbibe.  Faulkner's drink was a mint julep, of course, being from the South.  I also thought this was fabulous about Carson McCullers and know many of you enjoyed her works:

McCullers' favorite drink while writing was a mixture of hot tea and sherry that she kept in a thermos. She named the concoction "sonnie boy" and, often claiming it was only tea, would drink straight through the workday.

Here's the link to a National Public Radio article about great American writers and their drinks.  If it won't open, let me know and I'll find another way to access it:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6624971

Cheers,
Melony
Ann

Some of them don't seem to have made it to a ripe old age on these concoctions Laughing
MikeAlx

I'm amazed anyone can write decently when 'under the influence'. Mind you, I read the other week that Suzanne Lenglen (French 1920s tennis star) used to sip brandy in her rest breaks!
Hector

Mike - Paul McGrath (Aston Villa legend) used to regularly play football whilst under the influence. He was still more often than not the best player on the pitch.

Back to books - as Melony mentions above, Hemingway is often cited as having a few too many before he put pen to paper (or in his case his typewriter). I'll throw another name into the ring though - Dylan Thomas.

Regards

Hector
Melony

The muse does seem to be in the bottle!  Maybe that's why I haven't ever finished that novel!

Hector, your mentioning Dylan Thomas makes me remember the aunt in A Child's Christmas in Wales - getting into the sherry cabinet.

I don't think I'll actually resort to the drink for inspiration, but when I say code name "sonnie boy", you all will know what I'm talking about!  Very Happy
Chibiabos83

Will we? I'm afraid I have no idea  Embarassed
Ann

Chibiabos83 wrote:
Will we? I'm afraid I have no idea  Embarassed


Read the first in this thread Chib!
MikeAlx

Well I concede some writers may have produced gems whilst drunk, but I don't think that's typical. Dylan Thomas' best work was done when he was young; his increasing drink problem accompanied his artistic decline (according to most critics, anyway). Patrick Hamilton, though an alcoholic for decades, initially only wrote in the mornings when sober. His later books, by which point his alcoholism had invaded his mornings too, are generally considered to be far inferior.
Chibiabos83

That's what comes of not reading anyone's posts, Ann!
Chibiabos83

I suppose I may have read it when drunk and failed to register its content properly.
Ann

Laughing
Caro

It's odd how strong the prohibition on drinking alone (especially in the morning) is.  It is freezing cold here and I have been out standing in the cold taking photos of a house being shifted in my town.  As well, workmen are in the house drilling and making a mess.

I have just made myself a cup of coffee and for a treat put in a little warming Kahlua, while thinking, "This surely isn't a slide into alcoholism." Nobody thinks of sliding into alcoholism when they have a wine or even two at night in company.

Cheers, Caro.
Caro

But back on topic, it seems to be poets who were heavy drinkers in NZ (or else other people have hidden it better).  I had better not impugn the reputation of Rex Fairburn (whom Castorboy has quoted) too much without more information, but I think he liked a drink or two.  Certainly Denis Glover did, and Hone Tuwhare at least in his latter life was often found with a glass in his hand.  

But Tuwhare was still writing late in life with some verve.  And Glover was drinking heavily after WWII when just in his early 30s.  He still, according to The NZ Dictionary of Biography wrote "his two outstanding verse sequences, Sings Harry (1951) and Arawata Bill (1953)", and was still writing fairly prolifically after his 'decline into alcoholism'.  

Indeed the people quoted here generally have been poets - is there some reason for this?  Or are there just as many novelist alcoholics?  

Cheers, Caro.
Melony

Caro, Kahlua in coffee in the morning is totally acceptable.  I guess it depends on what kind of liquor you are drinking in the morning as to whether or not it is reputable!  Bellini's, Bloody Mary's, all acceptable.

Edward Hemingway who illustrated Hemingway and Bailey's is Hemingway's grandson, so I would imagine he knows a bit about the subject.  I also found a book called The Muse in the Bottle: Great Writers on the Joy of Drinking.  Contains Fielding, Dickens, McCourt, etc. on drinking. Got 5 star reviews.  Here's Amazon's page for it:
http://www.amazon.com/Muse-Bottle-Great-Writers-Drinking/dp/0806523719

You have to admit, drinking is associated with many writers, whether it was good for them or not.
Joe Mac

About Hemingway writing under the influence. He was known to be a heavy drinker, but according to his friend A.E. Hotchner, Ernie always wrote in the morning. If I remember correctly, he was  usually finished by noon if he was 'going good', and then drank steadily through the rest of the day. This suggests he was writing while hung over, much of the time.

       Big Readers Forum Index -> Things that don't fit anywhere else
Page 1 of 1
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum