The Art of Drinking and Writing: Amis / Hitchens Edition

everydaydrinking1A couple items of note from Christopher Buckley’s essay on “Booze as Muse” … and other temptations and illusions of the lit’ry kind, in which he quotes from his departed friend Christopher Buckley’s introduction to Kingsley Amis’s deathless book, Everyday Drinking:

…the “Muse of Booze,” as Christopher Hitchens calls Mr. Amis … gives us recipes for Paul Fussell’s Milk Punch (“to be drunk immediately on rising, in lieu of eating breakfast”) and Evelyn Waugh’s Noonday Reviver (“1 hefty shot gin, 1 bottle Guinness, ginger beer … I should think two doses is the limit”).


[Hitchens] and I once had a weekday lunch that began at 1 p.m. and ended at 11:30 p.m. I spent the next three weeks begging to be euthanized; he went home and wrote a dissertation on Orwell. Christopher himself was a muse of booze, though dipsography and fancy cocktails were not his thing. Christopher was a straightforward whiskey and martini man…

“Alcohol makes other people less tedious,” he writes, “and food less bland, and can help provide what the Greeks called entheos, or the slight buzz of inspiration when reading or writing.”


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