Drinking to excess has been a striking problem for industrial and post-industrial societies – who is responsible when a ‘free’ individual opts for a slow suicide? The causes of such drinking have often been blamed on heredity, moral weakness, ‘disease’ (addiction), hedonism, and Romantic illusion. Yet there is another reason which may be more fundamental and which has been overlooked or dismissed, and it is that the drinker may act with sincere philosophical intent. The Existential Drinker looks at the convergence of a new kind of excessive, habitual drinking, beginning in the nineteenth century, and a new way of thinking about the self which in the twentieth century comes to be labelled ‘Existential’. A substantial introduction covers questions of self, will, consciousness, authenticity, and ethics in relation to drinking, while introducing aspects of Existential thought pertinent to the discussion. The Existential-drinker canon is anchored in Jack London’s ‘alcoholic memoir’ John Barleycorn (1913), where London claims he can get at the truth of existence only through the insights afforded by excessive and repeated alcohol use. The book then covers drinker-texts such as Jean Rhys’s interwar novels, Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano, Charles Jackson’s The Lost Weekend and John O’Brien’s Leaving Las Vegas, along with less well-known works such as Frederick Exley’s A Fan’s Notes, Venedikt Yerofeev’s Moscow–Petushki, and A. L. Kennedy’s Paradise. The book will appeal to anybody with an interest in drinking and literature, as well as those with more specialised concerns in drinking studies, Existentialism, twentieth-century literature, and medical humanities.
THEORY FOR A GLOBAL AGE
Series Editor: Gurminder K. Bhambra, Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies in the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex
Globalization is widely viewed as a current condition of the world, but there is little engagement with how this changes the way we understand it. The Theory for a Global Age series addresses the impact of globalization on the social sciences and humanities. Each title will focus on a particular theoretical issue or topic of empirical controversy and debate, addressing theory in a more global and interconnected manner. With contributions from scholars across the globe, the series will explore different perspectives to examine globalization from a global viewpoint. True to its global character, the Theory for a Global Age series will be available for online access worldwide via Creative Commons licensing, aiming to stimulate wide debate within academia and beyond.
Previously published by Bloomsbury:
- Connected Sociologies
- Gurminder K. Bhambra
- Eurafrica: The Untold History of European Integration and Colonialism
- Peo Hansen and Stefan Jonsson
- On Sovereignty and Other Political Delusions
- Joan Cocks
- Postcolonial Piracy: Media Distribution and Cultural Production in the Global South
- Edited by Lars Eckstein and Anja Schwarz
- The Black Pacific: Anti-Colonial Struggles and Oceanic Connections
- Robbie Shilliam
- Democracy and Revolutionary Politics
- Neera Chandhoke
Published by Manchester University Press:
- Debt as Power
- Tim Di Muzio and Richard H. Robbins
- Subjects of modernity: Time-space, disciplines, margins
- Saurabh Dube
- Frontiers of the Caribbean
- Phillip Nanton
- John Dewey: The Global Public and Its Problems
- John Narayan
Race and the Yugoslav region
Postsocialist, post-confl ict, postcolonial?
Copyright © Catherine Baker 2018
The right of Catherine Baker to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Published by Manchester University Press
Altrincham Street, Manchester M1 7JA
British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data applied for
ISBN 978 1 5261 2660 3 hardback
ISBN 978 1 5261 2662 7 paperback
ISBN 978 1 5261 2661 0 open access
This electronic version has been made freely available under a Creative Commons (CC-BY-NC-ND) licence. A copy of the licence can be viewed at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
First published 2018
The publisher has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for any external or third-party internet websites referred to in this book, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.