In Vino Veritas

An Anthology of Drinking in Literature

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About the Book

This is a systematically arranged, annotated collection of outstanding literary works dealing with drink. It centers on some of the most enduring themes in both literary depictions of drinking and alcohol research: causes of drinking; effects of drinking; the tavern; drinking and family life; drinking and gender; and the spiritual dimension of drinking. Organized into chapters reflecting these themes, it encourages readers to think about drinking alcohol as a practice that is deeply cultural as well as biochemical. After a comprehensive introduction, the anthology provides informative headnotes to each selection, and ranges broadly across different cultures and periods, thus providing insights into patterns of similarity and difference in literature’s treatment of a controversial, pervasive aspect of human experience. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Nicholas O. Warner is associate dean of faculty and professor of literature at Claremont McKenna College in California. He has written articles on various aspects of English, American, and Russian literature. He lives in Pasadena, California.

Bibliographic Details

Edited and Compiled by Nicholas O. Warner

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 230
Bibliographic Info: bibliography
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6883-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0044-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Preface      1
Introduction      5

I. CAUSES OF DRINKING      23
Li Bo, “Drinking Song” (8th century)      23
Ralph Waldo Emerson, from “The Poet” (1844)      25
Nathaniel Hawthorne, from The Blithedale Romance (1852)      27
Leo Tolstoy, “Why Then Do Men Stupefy Themselves?” (1890)      34
Tennessee Williams, from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955)      46

II. EFFECTS OF DRINKING      54
William Shakespeare, from Macbeth (1605), and Othello (1604)      54
Robert Burns, “John Barleycorn” (1782)      63
Thomas Dekker and John Ford, “Cast Away Care” (1656)      65
Daniel Defoe, from Colonel Jack (1722)      66
James Fenimore Cooper, from The Pioneers (1823)      69
Charles Dickens, from David Copperfield (1849–50)      75
Herman Melville, from Moby- Dick (1851)      80
Mark Twain, “Edward Mills and George Benton” (1880)      83
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, from Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted (1892)      89

III. DRINKING AND THE TAVERN      92
William Blake, “The Little Vagabond” (1794) and Stephen Crane, from George’s Mother (1896)      92
Charles Dickens, “Gin- Shops” (1836)      105
James Joyce, “Counterparts” (1914)      110
Langston Hughes, “Cocktail Sip” (1953)      119
Nicolás Guillén, “Bars” (1958)      122
John Keats, “Lines on the Mermaid Tavern” (1818) and E.E. Cummings, “i was sitting in mcsorleys” (1922)      124

IV. DRINKING AND THE FAMILY      128
Walt Whitman, “Reuben’s Last Wish” (1856)      128
Émile Zola, from L’Assommoir (The Dram- Shop) (1877)      134
Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)      147
Carson McCullers, “A Domestic Dilemma” (1951)      149

V. DRINKING AND GENDER      159
George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans), from “Janet’s Repentance” (1857)      159
Willa Cather, “On the Divide” (1896)      166
Jack London, from John Barleycorn (1913)      178
Brian Moore, from The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (1955)      186

VI. SPIRITS AND THE SPIRIT      195
Li Bo, “Drinking Alone by Moonlight” (8th century)      195
Emily Dickinson, “I taste a liquor never brewed” (1860)      196
William James, from The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902)      198
Pablo Neruda, “Ode to Wine” (1954)      200
Simon Ortiz, “Woman Singing” (1969)      203
Naguib Mahfouz, “Blessed Night” (1991)      212

Further Reading      221