10 Books That Were Actually Written Under the Influence of Cocaine
Usually, we easily treat musicians, directors, and actors who have bad habits as an everyday thing. They are creative people after all. However, when it comes to writers, who are creative too, for some reason we don’t think it’s okay for them to have the same habits.
Bright Side decided to look for writers who wrote their books while addicted to drugs. Let’s take a different look at some classics.
Stephen King and his ’80s
Stephen King doesn’t even try to hide the fact that many of his works were written on cocaine. Besides, he doesn’t even remember writing them. In a Rolling Stone interview, he said that he’d been using cocaine from 1978 to 1986 and wrote around 10 novels. Some of them are It, The Dark Tower, Pet Sematary, and The Stand.
Ken Kesey and his LSD club
In 1959, Kesey worked as a psychiatrist assistant in a hospital (the memories of that experience were partially used in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) where he took part in some experiments. They were part of the research into the influence of LSD on the human body. In 1964, he made a real psychedelic revolution in the US when he created the “Merry Pranksters“ community, which popularized LSD. They organized parties that were greater than those in ”Project X." They even had venison covered in LSD!
Jean-Paul Sartre and his diet
According to Annie Cohen-Solal, who wrote the biography of the great existentialist, his everyday diet was: 2 packs of cigarettes, a couple of tobacco pipes, 1/4 bottle of hard liquor, 200 milligrams of amphetamine, 15 grams of aspirin, a pack of barbiturate, and around 20 cordran (a mix of amphetamine and aspirin). The writer died at the age of 74.
Writers in the years of the NEP
Interesting fact: in post-revolution Russia, cocaine was easier to get than a bottle of vodka. There were no regulations or laws that prohibited it. It was sold in markets and in cigarette shops. This is probably the origin of the myth that the longest romance Vladimir Mayakovsky ever had was with cocaine.
This information isn’t confirmed by all sources. We don’t really believe it, but who knows?
Charles Dickens and the Victorian times
Dickens lived in the Victorian period, when using drugs (opium and cocaine) was popular, affordable, and not prohibited by doctors. Sometimes drugs were even prescribed as antidepressants. The great writer was addicted to drugs. Considering the memories of people who knew him about the visions he had and his strange behavior, even A Christmas Carol gives us the chills.
Lewis Carroll and the Victorian times
Mr. Carroll also lived in the Victorian times. He used laudanum (opium with alcohol) as a form of treatment. Many people seriously think that Alice in Wonderland is so genius because of laudanum. There are theories that the book was meant to be a description of a drug trip.
Sigmund Freud and his studies of cocaine
In 1884, Sigmund Freud was interested in a new analgesic: cocaine. Over the next 3 years, he published several scientific works where he was amazed by what cocaine could do. He started prescribing it to his bride and recommended it to his friends. But in the beginning of 1887, scientists realized that cocaine was not as harmless as everyone had previously thought, and Freud was judged for drug propaganda. He regretted what he did and tried to get rid of the drug addiction until 1900.
Charles Baudelaire and The Club des Hashischins
From 1844 to 1848, the poet attended The Club des Hashischins. According to what other members of the club said, “Baudelaire tried hashish twice for an experiment.“ This ”happiness" was disgusting for him. Baudelaire later had a short addiction to opium, but he managed to overcome it quickly and created a great description of the influence of drugs on the human body, which had a symbolic name: Artificial Paradises.
Children’s BBC scriptwriters
Miss Graham, a former employee of Children’s BBC, told that after the first episode of her show, the producer and the show’s host offered her some cocaine. As it turned out later, drug use among the creative team of Children’s BBC was not punished, but, on the contrary, it was praised. The executives thought that cocaine helped writers come up with new and creative ideas. How well do you remember Teletubbies?
Mikhail Bulgakov and busting the myth
When people talk about how powerful Bulgakov’s novels were, they often remember the morphine that the writer used. In 1916-1917, Bulgakov worked as a country doctor, and that was the first time he used morphine to kill terrible pains caused by diphtheria. It took the writer 5 years to treat himself from drug addiction in secret, and he succeeded in 1921. All memories about this period are described in Morphine, written in 1927. Yes, the writer was addicted to drugs, but he never wrote novels under the influence of drugs.
Bright Side warns you: don’t try this at home. The writers became who they became only thanks to their incredible talent. They considered drug addiction more of a punishment than some kind of help.