Tag Archives: Alcohol

White Australia: How white healthcare has affected Indigenous Australians

Brittany Suann Western Australia   Rural Australia. Photo by author. Australian healthcare is among the best, and Australia boasts the eighth lowest mortality rates in the world.1 For Indigenous Australians, however, health outcomes are 2.3 times worse than for non-Indigenous Australians.1 This gap is stark and is evident in mortality rates, the life expectancy at […]

The ordeal of Evelyn Waugh

Stephen McWilliams Dublin, Ireland   Evelyn Waugh. Courtesy of National Portrait Gallery. In Evelyn Waugh’s second-last novel, The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold (1957), the eponymous character experiences some singular and troubling symptoms. Mr. Pinfold is a successful writer, not unlike Waugh himself, who embarks on a sea voyage in an effort to cure the chronic […]

Going berserk

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Berserk: frenzied, furiously, or madly violent. – Oxford English Dictionary   Imaginative drawing of a berserker in a fur loincloth. From Den Skandinavska Nordens Historia (The Scandinavian North’s History) by Gustaf Henrik Mellin, published 1850. The British Library on Flickr via Norwegian Wikipedia. No known copyright restrictions. The word berserkr […]

Did Ernest Hemingway have the Celtic curse?

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Ernest Hemingway, Nobel Prize for Literature, 1954. GPA Photo Archive. Via Flickr. CC BY-NC 2.0 Considering Ernest Hemingway’s mishaps before he died in 1961 by a self-inflicted shotgun wound, it is surprising that he lived so long. He survived two plane crashes several days apart that left […]

“John Barleycorn Must Die”: Addiction attributions in Jack London’s Alcoholic Memoirs

Ad A. Kaptein Barend W. Florijn Pim B. van der Meer Leiden, the Netherlands   L’Arlésienne (portret van Madame Ginoux). Vincent Van Gogh. 1890. Kröller-Müller Museum. A thousand words every morning—with iron discipline, Jack London adhered to his writing routine. Later in the day, he would turn to John Barleycorn: beer, wine, whisky, and brandy. […]

E.T.A. Hoffmann’s neurological disease

Nicolás Robles Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. Hoffmann’s drawing of himself, riding on Tomcat Murr and fighting “Prussian bureaucracy.” From Klaus Günzel: Die deutschen Romantiker. Artemis, Zürich 1995, ISBN 3-7608-1119-1. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. Ich bin das, was ich scheine, und scheine das nicht, was ich bin, mir selbst ein unerklärlich Rätsel, bin ich entzweit […]

Winston Churchill’s Illnesses

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover: Winston Churchill’s Illnesses by A. Vale and J. Scadding. Winston Churchill was one of the most important political figures of the twentieth century. As such, it is not surprising that he has been the subject of many biographies that have chronicled his life and many achievements, most […]

A moonie

Simon Wein Petach Tikvah, Israel   Untitled blue face, Acrylic on Canvas, 50/70 cm, 2017. Painting by Daniel Wein. Published with permission of the artist. Wally Moon was a legend who stood at least 1.90 meters tall. The most striking things about him were his appearance and his gruffness. When I met him during my […]

Absinthe: the green fairy

Nicolás Roberto Robles Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. Green Muse. Albert Maignan. 1895. Via Wikimedia Commons “After the first glass of absinthe you see things as you wish they were. After the second you see them as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing […]

There is power in the blood

Mark Tan Northwest Deanery, UK   Vue du Cimetiere de Melegnano – le lendemain du Combat. (View of the Cemetery at Melegnano – the aftermath of combat.) “Carne fa carne e vino fa sango” [Meat makes flesh and wine makes blood] — Italian proverb   Laura was covered in blood when the paramedics arrived at […]