Because it is Friday and the short weeks always somehow feel longest, today seems like a nice day for a slideshow of literary drunks and junkies. Life magazine put this together, complete with not-so-fun facts about the authors' addictions. It is both troubling and somehow understandable that we almost instinctually feel genius and addiction go hand in hand--though undeniably tragic, what clearer manifestation of mental struggle than to spend your life at the bottom of a bottle? If nothing else, the slideshow taught me some things: in spite of my love for Little Women, I know little about Louisa May Alcott and had no idea she was an opium addict. Also, F. Scott Fitzgerald, who I swear I must've seen pictures of before but somehow hadn't noticed--pretty hot!
I'm not equipped to judge the seeming correlation between genius and addiction (and not entirely sure whether there's actually a relationship--what percentage of brilliant artists of all stripes are perfectly sane and sober? What percentage of addicts have no discernible artistic ability?). But if we assume for a moment there is one, I wonder how many of these authors would have taken the trade of sobriety for a lack of a legacy.
(via Book Bench)