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Confessions of an English Opium Eater (Wordsworth Classics)

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9781853260964: Confessions of an English Opium Eater (Wordsworth Classics)
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With an Introduction and Notes by David Ellis, University of Kent at Canterbury.

In the first part of this famous work, published in 1821 but then revised and expanded in 1856, De Quincey vividly describes a number of experiences during his boyhood which he implies laid the foundations for his later life of helpless drug addiction.

The second part consists of his remarkable account of the pleasures and pains of opium, ostensibly offered as a muted apology for the course his life had taken but often reading like a celebration of it.

The Confessions of an English Opium-Eater is thus both a classic of English autobiographical writing - the prose equivalent, in its own time, of Wordsworth's The Prelude or Growth of a Poet's Mind - and at the same time a crucial text in the long history of the Western World's ambivalent relationship with hard drugs.

Full of psychological insight and colourful descriptive writing, it surprised and fascinated De Quincey's contemporaries and has continued to exert its powerful and eccentric appeal ever since.

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Review:

"Among the best essayists of the romantic era... De Quincey may be viewed as a proto-Burroughs, as well as a British cousin to Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Baudelaire, he might with a stretch even be seen as an ancestor of the J.G. Ballard...turn immediately to this excellent, detailed and often harrowing biography" (Washington Post)

"Thomas de Quincey was the original cosmonaut of inner space, his Confessions of an English Opium Eater predating the wave of drug buddy literature from William Burroughs to Irvine Welsh by half a century or more" (Glasgow Herald)

"A stimulating cocktail: exotic dream-sequences conjured up in baroque prosepoetry, camp Gothic effects worthy of Hammer Horror, classical quotations, London street-slang and sprawling footnotes on German philosophy. De Quincey served up this heady concoction of high-culture and low-life in all of his finest writings... At his best, however, he is one of the finest English prose stylists for sheer variety and opiumtinted vividness" (Mail on Sunday)

"The first - and still is the finest - literary dope fiend" (Guardian)

"It is one of the classics of 19th-century life writing and its influence is still felt" (Observer)

Book Description:

The original drug memoir - a true nineteenth century account of the pleasures and pains of addiction

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Book Description TRADE PAPERBACK. Condition: New. Wordsworth Editions Ltd. New. Wordsworth Press, Paperback, 1999, Book Condition: New, In the first part of this famous work, published in 1821 but then revised and expanded in 1856, De Quincey vividly describes a number of experiences during his boyhood which he implies laid the foundations for his later life of helpless drug addiction. The second part consists of his remarkable account of the pleasures and pains of opium, ostensibly offered as a muted apology for the course his life had taken but often reading like a celebration of it. The Confessions of an English Opium-Eater is thus both a classic of English autobiographical writing the prose equivalent, in its own time, of Wordsworths The Prelude or Growth of a Poets Mind and at the same time a crucial text in the long history of the Western Worlds ambivalent relationship with hard drugs. Full of psychological insight and colourful descriptive writing, it surprised and fascinated De Quinceys contemporaries and has continued to exert its powerful and eccentric appeal ever since. . 1999. TRADE PAPERBACK. Seller Inventory # 9781853260964

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