Intoxicating tendencies

Photo by Flickr user Caesar Sebastian. Click for source.The latest edition of BBC Radio 4′s Thinking Allowed is a special on ‘intoxication’ looking at the uses, abuses and social function of drugs through the ages.

It’s a fascinating programme in itself but it is peppered with vivid excerpts from how drugs, altered states and drug users have been described historically and are discussed currently.

One example is this wonderfully, painfully descriptive piece from writer Kingsley Amis who brilliantly captured the hangover:

Dixon was alive again. Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way; not for him the slow, gracious wandering from the halls of sleep, but a summary, forcible ejection. He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider-crab on the tarry shingle of the morning. The light did him harm, but not as much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move his eye-balls again. A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he’d somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad.

Oh, and Happy 2013.
 

Link to Thinking Allowed intoxication edition.
mp3 of podcast for same.

7 Comments

  1. Posted January 1, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    I’ve definitely had more than a few hangovers that fit that description quite nicely. I’m getting too old for that kind of thing now though. It can take over 24 hours to recover from a 4 hour night out, and that’s just too much.

  2. Posted January 1, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Yes, that’s a very good description, and it captures the sense of desolation.

    I however, often take three days or more to completely recover from the ‘jitters.’

  3. ichocky
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    i think the quotation above is from Kingsley Amis & not his son Martin . from the book ‘Lucky Jim’

  4. akismet-8377f337f3fa2f1b9d65c4047c02c693
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Yup.., it’s a very good description…

  5. Posted January 3, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Hi there,
    It was actually his dad, Kingsley Amis who wrote that in Lucky Jim.

  6. Posted January 3, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    oops – just saw someone else already mentioned it. doh!


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