Everyone experiences different alcohols in a different way. Some people become overjoyed and full of rainbows when they drink a certain alcohol, while others turn into gremlins having a horrible day with the same liquid. There are, however, associations between certain behaviors and certain alcohols. Similarly, there are differences in opinions regarding various writers and the feelings their styles produce, but popular opinion and scholarly work sets down guidelines. Let's get down to the point: I like literature, and I like alcohol. I hope you do, too, because we're about to take a look at the writing styles and tones of a few famous writers and how they're totally like the stereotypical effects of various alcohols. Grab a glass of your favorite poison and check this out.
Vodka = Jack Kerouac
Vodka is smooth going down, but, just after you've swallowed the magic, it promptly bitch-slaps you across the face, screaming, “WAKE UP”. It sneaks up on you, making you feel whimsical and profound, and then you're passed out on top of a table. Or maybe under it. Gravity's a cruel mistress. This is how I feel about Jack Kerouac's writing style; he's accessible, easy to follow, but he also knocks you on your ass with some amazingly depressing realization of just how alone we are in this world. Describing, in On the Road, his character's feelings regarding his relationship with his current girlfriend, he writes, “I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till I drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.” Probably the coolest bummer ever.
Gin = Edgar Allan Poe
Gin has a certain sad, and sometimes angry, quality about it that just doesn't want to quit. I'll give gin a plus, though, because it seems to make any mousey man turn into a fierce warrior. Basically, gin is Edgar Allan Poe. Poe stood strong in his bitter words, but we wallow in them. Think: “Annabel Lee,” one of Poe's most famous poems. He claims to rest next to his dead “maiden” (believed to be an allusion to his cousin, who died of consumption, and to whom he was married), writing, “And neither the angels in Heaven above / Nor the demons down under the sea / Can ever dissever my soul from the soul / Of the beautiful Annabel Lee”. Damn, you intense. And drunk.
Wine = Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina, produced some incredibly long and detailed pieces of fiction. His writing is flowery, meaningful, and very slow-going. It's difficult to stay motivated to reach the action while working through one-hundred pages of character, room, and food description. This reminds me of wine. You know when you have a glass of red wine and immediately feel as though you could sleep for thousands of years, but then you tell yourself that, if you just drink more, you'll wake up and enjoy the drunk? Yeah...this is Tolstoy. At the beginning of Anna Karenina, he writes, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Replace “happy families” with “bad wines” and “unhappy family” and “unhappy” with “good wine” and...“good”.
Tequila = Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker is a lesser known writer on this list, but, trust me, she was sassy as fuck. Her work is short and straight to the point, displaying her caustic wit and successfully making readers feel terrified by the thought of ever getting into an argument with her. She was uncensored and an all-around bad bitch. This is why Parker is tequila. Believed to lower inhibitions in its drinkers more than other alcohols, tequila is a pretty bad bitch itself, famed for transforming anyone who takes a few shots in a row into a raunchy and wild temptress/the-masculine-counterpart-of-temptress of the night. Want me to prove the accuracy of this comparison? When Parker was reportedly asked about her lack of content production during her honeymoon, she responded that she was “too fucking busy, and vice versa.” Sass for days.
Rum = Hunter S. Thompson
Rum: sweet, simple, and a party animal in the making. Rum drunks are likely to produce plenty of laughter and a passion for crazy fun. They can also, however, lead to some emotionally instability; i.e. thirty seconds ago, you were getting all hot and sweaty on the dance floor and now you're sobbing into a toilet bowl because the flashing lights reminded you of your late childhood pet. The combination of drunk, crazy fun and just plain crazy: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, anyone? Hunter S. Thompson, known for his use of exaggeration to promote both meaning and humor in his work, is rum. The story of an insane quest for the “American Dream,” made by some inebriated thrill-seekers, the novel is a mix of excess and disillusionment. This quote seems pretty applicable to the concept of rum-induced fun transitioning to the other end of the emotional spectrum: “Buy the ticket, take the ride.”
Absinthe = James Joyce
Believed to have hallucinogenic properties, absinthe has been blamed for all kinds of crazy shit done by those who drank it. Really, though, they did crazy shit because they got so insanely drunk. Considering how much trouble incredibly drunk individuals have with verbal expression, I deem James Joyce the literary equivalent of absinthe. If you've ever attempted to read Finnegans Wake, or read anything about it, like that it can take a person twenty years to work through the entire tome, you might agree with me. Just look at the first line of the book: “riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodious vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.” It begins with the second half of a sentence and ends with the first half (yes, I skipped to the end to see this...Cheaty McCheatCheat)! It literally goes in circles, like your friend who just had her third glass of absinthe and is telling you, for the fifth time, that wearing plastic bags over her shoes would DEFINITELY taken down the winter boot industry. ....Okay.