The Book of Absinthe: A Cultural History

The Book of Absinthe: A Cultural History

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by Phil Baker
     
 

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La Fee Verte (or "The Green Fairy") has intoxicated artists, poets, and writers ever since the late eighteenth century. Stories abound of absinthe's druglike sensations of mood lift and inspiration due to the presence of wormwood, its infamous "special" ingredient, which ultimately leads to delirium, homicidal mania, and death. Opening with the sensational 1905

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Overview

La Fee Verte (or "The Green Fairy") has intoxicated artists, poets, and writers ever since the late eighteenth century. Stories abound of absinthe's druglike sensations of mood lift and inspiration due to the presence of wormwood, its infamous "special" ingredient, which ultimately leads to delirium, homicidal mania, and death. Opening with the sensational 1905 Absinthe Murders, Phil Baker offers a cultural history of absinthe, from its modest origins as an herbal tonic through its luxuriantly morbid heyday in the late nineteenth century. Chronicling a fascinatingly lurid cast of historical characters who often died young, the absinthe scrapbook includes Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire, Oscar Wilde, Ernest Dowson, Aleister Crowley, Arthur Machen, August Strindberg, Alfred Jarry, Vincent van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Allais, Ernest Hemingway, and Pablo Picasso. Along with discussing the rituals and modus operandi of absinthe drinking, Baker reveals the recently discovered pharmacology of how real absinthe actually works on the nervous system, and he tests the various real and fake absinthe products that are available overseas. The Book of Absinthe is a witty, erudite primer to the world's most notorious drink.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802139931
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
07/05/2003
Edition description:
First American Edition
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.76(d)

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