“American literature floats on whiskey.”

Writers and Booze - Posted by Hammerstone's Whiskey Disks, makers of the world's best whiskey stones.

That’s what a college English professor once said to me. Now that I’m older, and well-read, I can see the truth in that statement. Here are quotes from some personal favorites to prove it:


HUNTER S. THOMPSON [1937-2005] “I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”

ERNEST HEMINGWAY [1899-1961] “An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.”

WILLIAM FAULKNER [1897-1962] “There is no such thing as bad whiskey. Some whiskeys just happen to be better than others. But a man shouldn’t fool with booze until he’s fifty; then he’s a damn fool if he doesn’t.”

CHARLES BUKOWSKI [1920-94] “Drinking is an emotional thing. It joggles you out of the standardism of everyday life, out of everything being the same. It yanks you out of your body and your mind and throws you against the wall. I have the feeling that drinking is a form of suicide where you’re allowed to return to life and begin all over the next day. It’s like killing yourself, and then you’re reborn. I guess I’ve lived about ten or fifteen thousand lives now.”

JACK KEROUAC [1922-69] “As I grew older I became a drunk. Why? Because I like ecstasy of the mind.”

DOROTHY PARKER [1897-1967] “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.”

F. SCOTT FITZGERALD [1896-1940] “First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.”

JACK LONDON [1876-1916] “I was carrying a beautiful alcoholic conflagration around with me. The thing fed on its own heat and flamed the fiercer. There was no time, in all my waking time, that I didn’t want a drink. I began to anticipate the completion of my daily thousand words by taking a drink when only five hundred words were written. It was not long until I prefaced the beginning of the thousand words with a drink.”

FREDERICK EXLEY [1929-92] “After a month’s sobriety my faculties became unbearably acute and I found myself unhealthily clairvoyant, having insights into places I’d as soon not journey to. Unlike some men, I had never drunk for boldness or charm or wit; I had used alcohol for precisely what it was, a depressant to check the mental exhilaration produced by extended sobriety.”

RAYMOND CHANDLER [1888-1959] “Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl’s clothes off.”

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