How did Edgar Allan Poe's alcoholism and drug use affect his writing? : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I am doing a research paper on how Poe's alcoholism and drug use affected his writing. I need to know some books and websites where I can get some information on this.

Thanks and please write back soon ~Anna~

-- Anonymous, January 12, 2004


Someone posting long ago had a very concise analysis of all the probable drinking Poe actually did. It affected his career very badly. The moinor drug use is most starkly evident in a weak suicide attempt, a laudanum overdose, the recovery from which(repeat:the recovery) inspired the poem "To Annie", hardly an advertisement for the inspiration of hallucinations. One horrible case of the DT's he relates about a jail stay for public drunkenness never gets into his fiction or poetry as far as I can tell. "The Black Cat" and other examples treat of the dnagers of the disordered state releasing wild intoxicated and self-destructive passions and self delusions. But in "The Raven" no disorder was needed other than narrator's own self trickery.

Dreams fantastic and ethereal seem to account for the nature of some poems. Drugs and alcohol inhiibit creative dreaming. What Stephen King has to say on the subject is intensely interesting in his memoir/handbook "On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft." No value. It makes the subject matter feel like a hangover in a city ditch. It destroys natural talent, one's life and good judgment. So imagination from drugs for Poe is out, boozy liberation of artistic flow an unnecessary self-deception perhaps, but Poe never said drink helped him write. He used it as an emotional crutch and denied the addiction in typical fashion, though he knew better. His reputed writings in the taverns have barely survived, most for good reason.

-- Anonymous, January 13, 2004

I think that when POe drank and did drugs it made him a better writer.

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2004

He was guilty of depression which may have been caused by such factors.

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2004

stop asking me so many questions. I know I'm famous but I can't handle the pressure. Please I beg of you to stop. Just let me (edgar allan poe) rest in peace. I hope you all die jkz jkz

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2004

yes, ido think drugs could bring out creativity

-- Anonymous, March 15, 2004

Drugs fry the brain and numb the senses. Poe's was terribly lonely for love and acceptance. He never found true love although he loved many; they just could never love him back. Poe turned to drugs to numb his hurting sole and consciousness.

-- Anonymous, April 16, 2004

i don't think there is any real evidence that Poe used drugs despite his references to opium dreams etc in his work, perhaps on a minor usage but no real evidence has been found. However the alcohol is a different case altogether..

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2004

He wasnt actually an alcoholic and the drugs that he did take were perscribed to him for pain.

-- Anonymous, December 06, 2004

Hey Anna, My english teacher read us one of Poe's poems just the other day called THE TELL-TALE HEART. We had a class discusion and she did say that most people thought that when he abused drugs (as in beer only) he wrote more dramaticly and darker, with more expressed feeling. Hope that helps you out. Good Luck!!

-- Anonymous, December 07, 2004

I am sorry to say that all of you are wrong because Poe didn't even write anything when he was drunk so there is no way his drugs could have affected his writing. He said that when he drank his lodnum- (opium and alcohol combined), he could barely think straight.

-- Anonymous, January 31, 2005

i read somewhere that most of his best poems were written at the end of his life when he was more depressed and therefore probably drank more

-- Anonymous, February 04, 2005

you are all wrong. none of you can say whether or not poe was an alcoholic or did drugs, or whether or not drugs/alcohol affected his wrintg. because YOU WERNET EVEN THERE. how do you have even one inkling as to what happened in poe's life? besides, even if you were there, you still wouldnt know anythign bbecause you are not inside his head, you know nothing about his intentions or what he was thinking. you can only make poor assumptions

-- Anonymous, March 10, 2005

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