What was he on???

greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

What type of drug was Edger Allan Poe on when he wrote most of his stories ??? It was some type of drug back his day that he took!

-- Anonymous, May 05, 2001


I don't know if he took it everyday of his life, but he did experiment with opium for a little while.

-- Anonymous, May 05, 2001


Interesting question, at least in form... leading and presumptive in the extreme, but interesting nonetheless. It has been asked in different forms here before but the answer remains essentially the same.

There is no demonstrable evidence or contemporary testimony to support the notion that Edgar Allan Poe's expression of his art was in anyway influenced by or the result of intoxication from drugs, or alcohol for that matter. To the contrary, there is ample evidence and contemporary testimony to conclude that, as far as drugs were concerned, Poe suffered no habitual abuse of opium or, in its mixed form, laudanum. That Poe periodically abused alcohol is generally well established. That Poe suffered a physical or psychological dependence on alcohol, not so well documented... nor will it ever be.


-- Anonymous, May 06, 2001

Also evidence to show that alcoholic lapses hurt his output and when pressed he was constantly reselling retreads. "The Black Cat" shows some experience of, and commentary against, past lapses. Get a hold of Stephen King's "on Writing" sometime when he gives his own negative judgment on the habits he kicked, likely the same as Poe's.

P.S. Imagination does not equal drug hallucination.

-- Anonymous, May 06, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ