Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and Other Writings (Oxford Worlds Classics)

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater & Other Writings
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For the right audience this will be an interesting read. For me there was not enough about what brought me to this book. The style is too much of its time, although not as evasive and overloaded as some writing of this century. De Quincey may have, with this book invented addiction literature and in so doing been an early example For the right audience this will be an interesting read.

De Quincey may have, with this book invented addiction literature and in so doing been an early example of qualitative research and objective analysis of specifically opium addiction. He comes across as more humane and realistic in his appreciation of, for example why otherwise good women are driven to become prostitutes.

This at a time when the expected thing was to write such women off as degraded. I get why others liked it more than I. I do not dislike it and that is the best I can post. This book is a partial autobiography giving the authors background as a good if headstrong student. Against advice he leaves school at 17 and breaks with his father.

Taking work where and as he can; he nearly starves to death in London.

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater & Other Writings

Here he befriends a young prostitute and between them eke out a minimal survival. Ultimately he returns to his father and to something of a comfortable life as a scholar. Exactly why we needed to hear about his near starvation is uncertain, but he gives us some topics to consider besides his main one, that of being an addict. Remember, this is about his experience as an addict? We are well into the book and he has yet to meet up with opium. It is while suffering from a tooth ache a friend of his introduces him to opium. The narrative breaks into roughly three parts as he walks us through his experience with opium.

The early period, when he thinks he has consumption under his control and the effects are pleasant, even exhilarating.

This part is important as it answers the question about why a person would begin down this path. Next he will describe what happened to him as the drug strips from him what he believed to have been his control. It is unclear how much of this testimony is valid, but absent a lot more research into addiction; De Quincey can be forgiven for relating only what he has determined to have been his experience. Throughout his conceit is that his experience is likely to be universal and therefore especially instructive.

There was in his day little or nothing for him or anyone else to compare with and judge his testimony to be anything other than what he suggests. The visions that had so much elevated his senses and awareness of the world become nightmares beyond his control, even as his continued consumption is not within his control. The last part is about his efforts to regain control of his consumption and at least come close to a total abstinence. My problem is that it reads more like a performance. One can almost hear the hat being passed at some kind of fund raiser.

The author to be the beneficiary. Forgivable is the presumption that his experience is universal and that what worked for or against him is the right approach for others.

The Confessions of an English Opium-Eater: And Other Writings Summary

He is convinced that one can avoid addiction by counting the usage in drops, staying below a fixed amount. That seemed to work for him except that ultimately he became a victim of his drug usage. Mostly I objected to the pages spent on topics not related to his usage. There are pages of elaborate images. There are reasonable because in him the drug stimulated visions, but there are other pages of him describing life with and without his drug as being like some county cabin.

queficaplidu.ga It was in these moment I most felt like I was listening to a fund raiser rather than insightful self-analysis. View 2 comments. I never thought a memoir about doing drugs could be this dull. There are some interesting aspects, like de Quincy describing what being high is like, but without the language of describing 'highs' that we have today. It makes it harder to penetrate but more interesting in some ways. It's like de Quincy showing drug addiction in a realistic way, as opposed to drug narratives that go from everything's bad to every I never thought a memoir about doing drugs could be this dull.

It's like de Quincy showing drug addiction in a realistic way, as opposed to drug narratives that go from everything's bad to everything's good. Overall though, reading this book is so dull. The first section especially is like pulling teeth. Jul 29, Yair Ben-Zvi rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites.

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Intolerably tough to read but a force worth going through. De Quincy was a xenophobe, drug addict, racist, imperialist, etc etc. But his writing is, hyperbole aside, incredible. He digresses, stops and starts tangents, and sometimes actually often ends stories with absolutely no resolution.

Like post-modern even before modernism. Not easy but definitely great reading. A strangely wonderful book, that is, at the same time wonderfully strange!!

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Into this you may put a quart of ruby-coloured laudanum: that, and a book of German metaphysics placed by its side, will sufficiently attest my being in the neighbourhood. So I'm a fan of the annoying little comma-loving twerp. He lived in a different time. He has a supremely identifiable and glorious dramatic voice in his text, and I'd say it's fairly resonant, as ev "Paint the real receptable, which was not of gold, but of glass, and as much like a wine-decanter as possible. He has a supremely identifiable and glorious dramatic voice in his text, and I'd say it's fairly resonant, as evidenced by the immense number of underlining that took place during the reading.

I felt very mixed about this one. Whilst the first book in the collection that being 'Confessions of an English Opium Eater was very interesting and readable, the other two were complete crap. It isn't that they aren't just completely unreadable by today's standards, it's just that De Quincy needs to get over himself. His dreams are boring, his life uninteresting and he comes across as a posh pompous twit.

Why these works are viewed as classics is be I felt very mixed about this one. Why these works are viewed as classics is beyond me. Just because you are friends with the as equally overrated William Wordsworth doesn't make you a great author by osmosis. Find something else to read that is more interesting, like the back of a cereal box. Feb 24, Guy Portman rated it it was ok Shelves: non-fiction , classics.

At the age of eighteen De Quincey moves to London, where he exists in a near destitute state, surviving on borrowed money. An illness results in a doctor prescribing the author laudanum, which contains opium.

De Quincey starts using the drug regularly, culminating in addiction. The section of the book approx.

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Later De Quincey, who infers that it was his early experiences that led to his use of the drug, attempts to reduce his opium intake. This reader would compare reading Confessions of an English Opium-Eater to struggling through sinking mud. For despite the fact that there are a mere pages, some interesting historical insights, details of opium-fuelled dreams, in addition to an ornate, almost poetic prose style, no doubt the influence of Wordsworth of whom the author was an ardent devotee, toiling through the book was extremely arduous.

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This was due to the turgid blocks of text devoid of paragraphs, the unremitting references to classical studies and literature, the tedious footnotes, grandiloquent use of language c. This reader would strongly recommend that anyone enticed by the prospect of this, the forefather of addiction literature, read the original version, and not make his mistake of wading through the considerably expanded edition.

Mar 17, Tom Meade added it Shelves: socio-historical-enquiry , fantasy , biography , weird. Finished the Opium Confessions. The information is interesting, but mostly of that vague, generalist sort that could only have been considered useful in the early 19th century. The writing, however, is superb - an over-sexed mezzanine of verbiage - with any number of scenes and incidents that stick with you long after you've closed the book.

The dreams in particular, though quite short, are striking in the power of their imagery. The book could have done with a few more freak-outs, to be honest. True of most things, I suppose. Have read a bit of Suspiria de Profundis. De Quincey seems to have gotten a hold on some of his wilder linguistic impulses, directing them with a bit more power and foresight.

I'm pretty excited to find-out just how much of this stuff Dario Argento took to heart. De Quincey is, admittedly, witty, and I can see his personality affecting his work. However, this is where my admiration stops. It was, to put it bluntly, painful to read, though that may have been due to the lack of chapters or any kind of coherent organisation. And while I can understand why De Quincey organised his own thoughts like this, to create a realistic stream of conciousness unsurprising considering the subject matter , I personally simply found it daunting and stifled.

I w De Quincey is, admittedly, witty, and I can see his personality affecting his work.

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I will re-read it once I have finished the module for which I read it, but I don't hold much hope of it having a greater effect on me. While there are several entertaining anecdotes that Thomas De Quincey relates in the works contained in this compilation, I can't get over the fact that following his purpose us difficult at best.

Thus, whi While there are several entertaining anecdotes that Thomas De Quincey relates in the works contained in this compilation, I can't get over the fact that following his purpose us difficult at best. Thus, while at times his writing is entertaining, it meanders. Also, I feel much if what De Quincey has to say is a bit arrogant, further reducing my enjoyment of his writing.

Jun 10, Raissa rated it did not like it.