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Saturday, 22 September 2012

Opiates Drained

It's been reported that a new book on the life of Keats suggests he was drowsy and inspired by opiates far longer than had been hitherto claimed, particularly in 1818-1819, around the time of his brother's death from TB, and some of Keats' greatest poems.  Laudanum, opium, heroin - take your pick, these and other drugs have been used by people for centuries; some of the people who used them were artists, even geniuses; most were not, some monumental bores.  As someone noted years ago in the cult film Liquid Sky, David Bowie was Bowie before the drugs.  I expect without Keats' poetic skills, insights and brilliance, the drugs wouldn't have worked.  New worlds swim into view on peaks without unnatural highs.  Peeking into Chapman will do.
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