Writing under the Influence: Alcoholism and the Alcoholic Perception from Hemingway to Berryman

Overview

The book offers a socio-critical analysis of the alcoholic perception in the poetry and fiction of modern American alcoholic writers. Matts Djos focuses on primary indicators of alcohol addiction (fear, manipulation, anger, loneliness, and antic-social behavior) and their expression in modern American literature. After providing a general foundation for analysis of the psychological effects of the disease, this volume scrutinizes the work of Ernest Hemingway, John Berryman, E.A. Robinson, Hart Crane, Theodore ...

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Overview

The book offers a socio-critical analysis of the alcoholic perception in the poetry and fiction of modern American alcoholic writers. Matts Djos focuses on primary indicators of alcohol addiction (fear, manipulation, anger, loneliness, and antic-social behavior) and their expression in modern American literature. After providing a general foundation for analysis of the psychological effects of the disease, this volume scrutinizes the work of Ernest Hemingway, John Berryman, E.A. Robinson, Hart Crane, Theodore Roetheke, Robert Lowell, John Steinbeck, and William Faulkner. The detail provides critical and in-depth perspective on the workings of the alcoholic mind.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Every ten or twenty years, it seems, there comes a literary critic whose work throws open a window and you suddenly see sharper images, clearer details, deeper shadows. And now comes Djos’s Writing Under the Influence, probing the dusky corners of literary alcoholism.  This is sociological literary criticism doing exactly what it should do: inconcise and important discussions, Professor Djos confronts his selected authors—Roethke, Hart Crane, Faulkner, E.E. Cummings, Ginsberg and more than a dozen others—and  fearlessly focuses on the ways in which the 'alcoholic perspective' informs their work.  I know I shall never again teach 'Mister Flood’s Party' the same way after reading Djos, and the same goes for Tennessee Williams, Robert Lowell and the others.  Writing Under the Influence should be on the reading list of every graduate program in American literature."--Dr. James C. Work, Professor Emeritus, Colorado State University

“Djos has written a compelling work that fulfills its promise by ‘applying a systematic psychological focus to alcoholic literature. . . to explore some of the more puzzling facets of the addictive mind as set as reflected in the poems and stories of modern American writers.’ The result is an extraordinary work of literary criticism that illuminates the alcoholic personality, stripping away any romantic notions that both readers and his subjects may have about alcoholism.”—Felicia Florine Campbell, Professor of English, University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Editor, Popular Culture Review  

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230102606
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 5/25/2010
  • Pages: 188
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Matts G. Djos is Professor of English, Emeritus at Mesa State College.

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Table of Contents

A Note on the Author ix

Acknowledgements xi

Forward xiii

Chapter 1 The Foundations of Alcoholic Thinking and the Role of Fantasy, Alienation, and Rebellion 1

Chapter 2 Alcoholism in Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises: A Wine and Roses Perspective of the Lost Generation 13

Chapter 3 Addiction and Spirituality in Contemporary American Poetry: Frustration and Paradox 29

Chapter 4 John Berryman's "Phase Four" and His Precarious Attempt to Find a Compromise between Drunkenness, Sobriety, and the A.A. Twelve Step Program of Recovery 43

Chapter 5 The Grand Illusion: Evasion, Survival, and Self-Hate 53

Chapter 6 The Alcoholic Isolation and Fall to Self-Destruction in Edwin Arlington Robinson's "Mr. Flood's Party" 61

Chapter 7 Sex and Promiscuity: Conjugal Detachment and the Fear of Intimacy 69

Chapter 8 Alcoholic Guilt and Emotional Paralysis: Bathos, Incongruity, and Frustration 79

Chapter 9 The Contaminated Vision: The Alcoholic Perspective in Hart Crane's "The Wine Menagerie" 87

Chapter 10 Clowns and Bedlam: The Dark Side of Alcoholic Humor 95

Chapter 11 Through a Glass Darkly: Death and Dissolution 105

Afterword 115

Appendix 1 A Note on the Author 119

Appendix 2 The Emotional, Spiritual, and Physical Dimensions of Alcoholism: An Overview 131

Appendix 3 Twelve Step Programs and the Literature of Addiction 137

Appendix 4 A.A.'s Primary Texts: Alcoholics Anonymous and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions: A Review 145

Appendix 5 Suggested Additional Reading 153

Notes 155

Bibliography 165

Index 171

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