One More Round

As an online companion to our article in the October 2012 issue, read more tales about writerly drinking legends Oscar Wilde, Dylan Thomas, Edgar Allan Poe, and Dorothy Parker.
Author:
Publish date:

As an online companion to our article in the October 2012 issue, read more tales about writerly drinking legends Oscar Wilde, Dylan Thomas, Edgar Allan Poe, and Dorothy Parker.

By Maija Zummo

OSCAR WILDE

“Work is the curse of the drinking classes.”

Drink of choice: Absinthe

While Wilde enjoyed iced champagne, he spent his time in Paris courting the green fairy, writing about absinthe’s hallucinogenic effects: “The first stage is like ordinary drinking, the second when you begin to see monstrous and cruel things, but if you can persevere you will enter in upon the third stage, where you see things that you want to see, wonderful curious things.”

DYLAN THOMAS

“An alcoholic is someone who you don’t like, who drinks as much as you do.”

Drink of choice: Whiskey

The Welsh poet, before going gentle into that good night, was mythologized like a rock star. Writer Elizabeth Hardwick once said of his readings, “Would he arrive only to break down on the stage? Would some dismaying scene take place at the faculty party? Would he be offensive, violent, obscene? These were alarming and yet exciting possibilities.”

EDGAR ALLAN POE

“Quaintest thoughts—queerest fancies / Come to life and fade away; / What care I how time advances? / I am drinking ale today.” —“Lines on Ale

Drink of choice: Whatever he could afford

The first well-known American to try to earn a living through writing alone, Poe was frequently broke, and often discharged from editing jobs for drunkenness. In a mystery on par with such a dark legend, a black-cloaked stranger known as the "Poe Toaster" visited the author’s grave in the wee morning hours of his birthday for more than 60 years to toast him with a glass of French cognac.

DOROTHY PARKER

"I like to have a Martini/ Two at the very most/ After three I'm under the table/ After four I'm under my host.”

Drink of choice: “A dear little whiskey sour”

This witty writer, poet and journalist enjoyed portraying drinking and Jazz Age nightlife in her writing. Despite her love for the whiskey sour, she immortalized the martini in the above quip, found on cocktail napkins everywhere.

How to Approach Friends and Family About Your Memoir

How to Approach Friends and Family About Your Memoir

No one can decide whether showing your memoir to loved ones before it goes to press is the right choice for you. However, if you're planning to approach your friends and family about it, let memoirist Ronit Plank give you 3 tips for doing so.

Emily Henry: On Writing the Second Book

Emily Henry: On Writing the Second Book

Romance author Emily Henry describes the ups and downs of writing your second book, using her experiences writing her latest release, People We Meet on Vacation.

The Plot, by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Who Really Owns a Story?

Jean Hanff Korelitz, author of The Plot, on artistic appropriation and adaptations.

Abate vs. Bait vs. Bate (Grammar Rules)

Abate vs. Bait vs. Bate (Grammar Rules)

Learn the differences of abate, bait, and bate on with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Sarah Pinsker: On Reviving the Set-Aside Story

Sarah Pinsker: On Reviving the Set-Aside Story

Award-winning novelist Sarah Pinsker discusses how she picked up and put down a story over many years which would eventually become her latest release, We Are Satellites.

Mary Alice Monroe: On Writing the Family Saga

Mary Alice Monroe: On Writing the Family Saga

Award-winning author Mary Alice Monroe discusses what it's like to draft a series that spans generations and storylines.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Final Competition Deadline, Short Story Virtual Conference, and more!

This week, we’re excited to announce the Self-Published Book Awards deadline for 2021, details on the upcoming Short Story Virtual Conference, and more!

John B. Thompson | Book Wars

John B. Thompson: On Researching Changes in the Book Publishing Industry

John B. Thompson, author of the new book Book Wars, shares the research that went into his account of how the digital revolution changed publishing for readers and writers.