Confessions of an English Opium Eater
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Confessions of an English Opium Eater by Thomas De Quincey
Book DescriptionA masterpiece of autobiography, and perhaps the first literary memoir of an addict, the "Penguin Classics" edition of Thomas De Quincey's "Confessions of an English Opium-Eater" is edited with an introduction by Barry Milligan. "Confessions" is a remarkable account of the pleasures and pains of worshipping at the 'Church of Opium'. Thomas De Quincey consumed daily large quantities of laudanum (at the time a legal painkiller), and this autobiography of addiction hauntingly describes his surreal visions and hallucinatory nocturnal wanderings through London, along with the nightmares, despair and paranoia to which he became prey. The result is a work in which the effects of drugs and the nature of dreams, memory and imagination are seamlessly interwoven, describing in intimate detail the mind-altering pleasures and pains unique to opium. "Confessions of an English Opium-Eater" forged a link between artistic self-expression and addiction, paving the way for later generations of literary addicts from Baudelaire to James Frey, and anticipating psychoanalysis with its insights into the subconscious. This edition is based on the original serial version of 1821, and reproduces two 'sequels', "Suspiria de Profundis" (1845) and "The English Mail-Coach" (1849). It also includes a critical introduction discussing the romantic figure of the addict and the tradition of confessional literature, and an appendix on opium in the nineteenth century. Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859) studied at Oxford, failing to take his degree but discovering opium. He later met Coleridge, Southey and the Wordsworths. From 1828 until his death he lived in Edinburgh and made his living from journalism. If you enjoyed "Confessions of an English Opium-Eater", you might like William S. Burroughs' "Junky", available in "Penguin Modern Classics". "De Quincey was one of the first great autobiographers". (Jonathan Bate).
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780140439014
(198mm x 129mm x 20mm)
Imprint: Penguin Classics
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publish Date: 27-Mar-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Thomas De Quincey
On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts, Paperback (February 2015)
Considers murder in a purely aesthetic light and explains how practically every philosopher over the past two hundred years has been murdered - 'insomuch, that if a man calls himself a philosopher, and never had his life attempted, rest assured there is nothing in him'.
Recollections of the Lakes and the Lake Poets, Paperback (June 2013)
Published together in 1862, De Quincey's candid portraits of Coleridge, Wordsworth and Southey confirmed their place as leading Romantic poets.
Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and Other Writings, Paperback (February 2013)
Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, Suspiria de Profundis, and 'The English Mail-Coach' are De Quincey's finest essays in autobiography, published here with three appendices containing a wealth of related manuscript material and a comprehensive introduction and notes.
Confessions of an English Opium-eater, Paperback (January 2013)» View all books by Thomas De Quincey
Once upon a time, opium was easily available over chemist's counter. The secret of happiness, about which philosophers have disputed for so many ages, could be bought for a penny, and carried in waistcoat pocket. Paradise! So thought, the author, but he soon discovered that 'nobody will laugh long who deals much with opium'.
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Author Biography - Thomas De Quincey
Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859) studied at Oxford, failing to take his degree but discovering opium. He later met Coleridge, Southey and the Wordsworths. From 1828 until his death he lived in Edinburgh and made his living from journalism. Barry Milligan is Professor of English at Wright State University and author of Pleasures and Pains (Virginia UP, 1995).
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