Thristy Muse

Tom Dardis, Author, Thomas A. Dardis, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $18.95 (292p) ISBN 978-0-89919-376-2
To those who harbor the notion that heavy drinking fosters creativity, this forceful, sobering study will serve as an antidote. Dardis profiles four alcoholic American writers: Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Hemingway and O'Neill. He argues that the first three burned themselves out before they had fully tapped their creative potential, a decline which the author, a professor at New York's John Jay College, links decisively to booze. Faulkner's whiskey binges and repeated hospitalizations, Fitzgerald's daily alcoholic despair and Hemingway's denial syndrome add up to a sad picture of self-destruction. Eugene O'Neill, on the other hand, quit drinking at age 38, and went on to write plays about the power of addiction, from The Iceman Cometh to Long Day's Journey into Night. Dardis ( Some Time in the Sun ) has produced a sensitive, invaluable group portrait that probes his subjects' addictions in ways neglected even by their biographers. Photos. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
Paperback - 978-0-395-57422-5
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