The Road of Excess: A History of Writers on Drugs



The Road of Excess: A History of Writers on Drugs
Harvard University Press | 2005-03-15 | English | 360 pages | ISBN : 0674017560,0674017566 | File type: PDF | 1.2mb
Product description :
Instead of providing a chronological history of drugs in literature, Boon (English, York Univ.) offers a sprawling, extensively researched work that explores the quot;more subtle, micropolitical histories of everyday interactions between human beings and particular psychoactive substances.quot; Each of the book's five chapters focuses on writers (e.g., Baudelaire, Burroughs, Coleridge, Freud, Huxley, Kerouac, and Southey) and works associated with a particular class of drugs: narcotics, anesthetics, cannabis, stimulants, and psychedelics. Boon originally intended to confine himself to writers from the Romantics to the present but expanded his scope when after questioning the apparent lack of drug literature prior to Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1822). This is an ambitious effort, but as Boon himself notes in his chapter on cannabis, readers quot;will notice a tendency in my writing toward digression.quot; A tighter focus would have helped, especially since many of the anecdotes have been covered elsewhere-most recently in Sadie Plant's Writing on Drugs. Still, this is a solid work of scholarship that should be of interest to most academic libraries.
William D. Walsh, White Pines Coll., Chester, NH
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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