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by Sadie Plant

Download Writing on Drugs fb2, epub

ISBN: 0571203388
Author: Sadie Plant
Language: English
Publisher: Gardners Books (August 31, 2001)
Pages: 256
Category: Politics & Government
Subcategory: Politics
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 545
Size Fb2: 1876 kb
Size ePub: 1968 kb
Size Djvu: 1640 kb
Other formats: rtf lrf mbr txt


But Plant often gives authors without book titles and book titles without dates or even any indication of what era the . It reads like a book on the literature of drugs written by an author while on drugs.

But Plant often gives authors without book titles and book titles without dates or even any indication of what era the works of literature were written or published in. Inexcusably, quotes are given without sources in the main text or even in notes. Unlike a lecturer who perhaps got too stoned just before their talk and who blew a single chance at giving a good speaking engagement, an author cannot give the same excuse.

Writing on Drugs book. Writing on Drugs is not necessarily about that at all. A complex breakdown of what Sadie Plant sees as the miscommunication of the mind opposed to what most government's govern. Narcotics, stimulants and hallucinogens. If soma ever existed the Pusher was there to bottle it and monopolize it and sell it and it turned into plain old time JUNK.

The book is a dense examination on how drugs have influenced contemporary culture through the medium of literature. She uses a wide variety of sources and employs several post-structuralist theorists in her writing technique. Barthes’ Death of the Author essay is oddly implicit in Writing on Drugs as Sadie Plant remains largely invisible throughout the text (unlike those she examines. Her academic style is thick in quotations and references but often lacks cohesion and direction, and this results in a rather too bewildering tour of culture through the drugs it uses.

Drug abuse - Social aspects, Drug abuse in literature. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Science - Sociology & Human Behaviour. Writing on Drugs explores the profound and pervasive nature of their influence on contemporary culture. It reads Coleridge on opium, Freud on cocaine, Michaux on mescaline and Burroughs on them all, and with such writers it begins to understand the many ways in which the modern world has found itself on drugs. Psychoactive substances have been integral to its ecomic history, its politics, media and techlogies. They have influenced its poetry and stories, and shapedsome of its most fundamental philosophies.

item 3 Writing on Drugs by Plant, Sadie Paperback Book The Cheap Fast Free Post -Writing on. .Sadie Plant was born in Birmingham and studied at the University of Manchester, where she gained her PhD in Philosophy in 1989.

item 3 Writing on Drugs by Plant, Sadie Paperback Book The Cheap Fast Free Post -Writing on Drugs by Plant, Sadie Paperback Book The Cheap Fast Free Post.

Writing on Drugs fully and compellingly explores the pervasive and ongoing influence of drugs on contemporary thought .

Writing on Drugs fully and compellingly explores the pervasive and ongoing influence of drugs on contemporary thought, word, and deed. Format Paperback 304 pages. Close X. Learn about new offers and get more deals by joining our newsletter.

All books on drug addiction are cataloged here by their prominence. The list you're viewing is made up of books like Writing on drugs and Moments of Clarity

All books on drug addiction are cataloged here by their prominence. The list you're viewing is made up of books like Writing on drugs and Moments of Clarity.

Sadie Plant left the University of Warwick in 1997 to write full-time. This book is the first major study of the Situationist International. She published a cultural history of drug use and control, and a report on the social effects of mobile phones, as well as articles in publications as varied as the Financial Times, Wired, Blueprint, and Dazed and Confused.

Modern culture has founded itself on drugs. Beyond their psychoactive effects, they have shaped some of the modern era's most fundamental philosophies and even helped expose the neurochemistry of the human brain. This examination of writing on drugs, including Coleridge on opium, Michaux on mescaline, Freud on cocaine and Burroughs on everything, is an exploration of the profound and pervasive influence of drugs on contemporary and historical culture. The author argues that drugs have been integral to modern politics, media and technology.

Comments:

Whiteflame
As an anthro. involved in drug research and who himself has nascent plans to write about the uncanny relationship between the drug experience, the writing process, and literature, I really wanted to love this book. I respect the author's endeavor to the task of exploring the subject, but, unfortunately, the violent aggregation of all the book's shortcomings have prevented me from finishing it in its entirety.

Like others have rightfully said, references are disturbingly non-existent, the writing is stilted and confusing most of the time, and the content desultory of the highest order. This is not to say that the book lacks any value; in fact, one can fruitfully excavate valuable gems of information once the trauma of reading her prose subsides.

Overall, it is clear that the author intended to write the book in an experimental mode that reflects the activity stated in the title: writing on drugs. "A+" for trying; "F" for failing to execute this elegantly.
Talrajas
This is a coauthored review by one who recommends this book and one who does not. Both Rendi and I have read this book and whereas I found this book to be little more than annoying, Rendi enjoyed it. We realize that some readers may appreciate this book for the same reasons that Rendi enjoyed it and other readers may regret purchasing this book for the same reasons that I did. I had thought of a good way to explain why I did not appreciate this book and as it turns out this also a good explanation of why Rendi enjoyed it.

Imagine two people have bought tickets to a college lecture entitled "Writing on Drugs" which, as the title suggests, was supposed to be about historic (non-medical) literature concerning and/or inspired by psychoactive drugs and the influence of this literature and the drugs themselves on Western culture and world economics in the last few hundred years.

One person had been trying to collect information on the historic literature on drugs and was in need of some sort of professional chronology of this literature. Armed with a note pad and pen, ready to take notes, this person was hoping to get some good information; authors, titles, publishing dates, and so on. The other person, being much less detail-oriented, was simply hoping to enjoy a good talk on this subject.

In the actual lecture, the speaker seemed quite knowledgeable about the topic but unable or unwilling to present her knowledge with any sense of order, consistency or focus. Rather, she rambled on and meandered off track for most of the talk spending only a small portion of the time actually discussing literature pertaining to drugs. It seemed as if she had the potential to give a good, orderly talk on the topic but showed up too high to do so. The person took few notes because little note-worthy information was given and half way through he put down his pen and pad in disgust. The other person sat back and enjoyed the meandering off-topic ramble for what it was - interesting.

This book is parallel to this hypothetical lecture by the seemingly stoned hypothetical lecturer. Depending on what you would hope to get from a book entitled "Writing on Drugs", you may or may not like this book.

I, for one, was hoping for dates, authors and book titles; not necessarily in a tight chronological order, but I hoped that I could at least gain some sort of orderly (even if only partial) list after taking notes and arranging them to my suiting. But Plant often gives authors without book titles and book titles without dates or even any indication of what era the works of literature were written or published in. Inexcusably, quotes are given without sources in the main text or even in notes. How can one quote a book without giving an author or book title?

Plant is also frustratingly inconsistent. As one would expect, she discusses DeQuincey, Coleridge, Ellis, Ludlow and others. But she gives only scant mentions of Huxley and other important authors, little more than tenuously relevant quotes from William S. Burroughs, and neglects to mention the likes of Hunter S. Thompson's semi-fictional "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and Tom Wolfe's "Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test". If she considers Freud's professional works on cocaine to be within the scope of this book, why not crucial works of Richard E. Schultes, R. Gordon Wasson and the like? Leary, Metzner and Alpert's ground-breaking book "The Psychedelic Experience" is mentioned, but what about the important works of Huston Smith, Stan Groff, Jonathan Ott and many others? If she can astutely mention the obscure historical fact that the occultist Aleister Crowley administered mescaline to the audience of his theatrical ritual "Rites of Eleusis" then why not his seminal essays on hashish? What about Terence McKenna's "Food of the Gods"? Why not Ram Das' "Be Here Now"? If Plant misses or declines to mention so many books that I only chanced upon by browsing through mainstream book stores, then how many more books has she missed or declined to mention? I shudder to think, especially because I paid good money for her "Writing on Drugs". Perhaps she should have titled it "Random and Incomplete Discussions of Writings on Drugs and Other Loosely Related Topics".

There is also a lack of focus in this book. Plant discusses some of what Sigmund Freud wrote concerning cocaine and how his use of cocaine deeply effected his formulation of his thinking on psychology, which in was a huge influence of psychology as a whole. But then she goes on to discuss psychology in general and for too long. Interesting, but off-topic. She also discusses the neurological mechanics of how some drugs work in the brain, the economics of the opium trade in the colonial era, the evolution of drug prohibition, and other topics related to drugs but only loosely related to literature or else not related at all. Again, perhaps this book should have been publicized as a work on drugs and civilization and other loosely related topics, not as a book concerning literature on drugs.

Indeed, I jokingly voiced the question of whether the book title indicates that its subject is about literate pertaining to drugs or that it is a book written by an author while on drugs. It reads like a book on the literature of drugs written by an author while on drugs. Unlike a lecturer who perhaps got too stoned just before their talk and who blew a single chance at giving a good speaking engagement, an author cannot give the same excuse. A book takes considerable time to write and the author has the chance to rework, rewrite, revise and edit their manuscript while sober. Unless an author has a problem ever being sober, I can see no excuse why a non-fiction book should be sent to press in such a form. Many musicians have particular nights where they put on a bad concert because of they were too drunk that or high, but the same excuse can not be used to explain a bad album created over months of different recording sessions.

I would give this book 2 out of 5 stars. But to be fair, Rendi will now give his opinion...

Unlike Justin, I enjoyed this book. Justin is more detail oriented - he reads exclusively non-fiction literature and he reads to learn - so I can understand how such a reader would be frustrated by Sadie Plant's presentation. I, on the other hand, read for enjoyment and found this book to be very interesting. I also have learned a lot that I did not expect to get out of a book on drug literature. In his "Food of the Gods" Terence McKenna discusses, among other things, the role of the opium trade on the economics and politics of the colonial era but in this book Plant goes into much more gratifying detail of this underplayed aspect of history.

Plant also goes into some detail about a number of other interesting subtopics related to drugs in history. I had heard that speed was used by the Third Reich and had wondered if Hitler was a speed freak. But I did not know that soldiers and leaders on both sides of the war used so much speed, making rash, aggressive and paranoid decisions with the lives of so many mortals. Many of us know that Coca-Cola originally contained cocaine but Plant gives us a good bit of the history of Coca-Cola, cocaine and the gradual withdrawal of cocaine from their formula just before there were legal restrictions on the drug. She also talks about the widespread use of opium, cannabis and other drugs in cough syrup, "medicine" to quiet teething babies, and so on.

I would imagine there are other books that go into more detail on this, but I found Plant's chapters the hidden politics of cocaine and heroin to be fascinating. I had read hints about the sordid webs of secret underhanded dealings involving U.S. government agencies, foreign drug cartels and corrupt governments, the United Nations, the Taliban, Vietnam, Laos, the Iran-Contra scandal, and so on but in this book Plant goes into enough detail to clarify but not bore a reader such as myself. I, for one, did not know that the Taliban got much of it's money from heroin derived from the poppy fields in Afghanistan - though I should have suspected. After reading this book I wonder if, like Vietnam, the invasion of Afghanistan had a lot to do with taking over poppy fields for the lucrative heroin black market than for the idealistic reasons the American public swallows hook, line and sinker.

If I were to attend that hypothetical lecture, I would have relaxed, sat back and listened with interest while Justin sat there feeling a bit cheated out of his money. Justin is right when he says that only a portion of this book pertains to literature about drugs but I thought it was a good read anyway. I recommend it. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Since Justin gives it 2 stars and I give it 4, we will average this to 3 stars.
Purebinder
Overall, I found "Writing on Drugs" interesting, in that it not only covered how various writers have written about, and on, various drugs, but also how the use of drugs -- legal or otherwise -- have shaped our society. However, the book was poorly organized, with the author jumping from topic to topic without any transition or explanation. The editors didn't help much -- the layout of the book is such that the reader cannot easily discern when one chapter has ended and the next has begun. Finally, Ms. Plant failed to give specific sources for her information. Yes, there is a list of references, but within the text, one cannot tell where she got her information. This is especially disconcerting when she goes on about the CIA involvement in drugs. I don't necessarily dispute the accuracy, but when someone makes such damning statements in public, she'd better be able to back them up, or risk losing credibility.
In the final analysis, I'd recommend waiting for the paperback.

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