Genius and Heroin: The Illustrated Catalogue of Creativity, Obsession, and Reckless Abandon Through the Ages
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What is the price of brilliance?
Why are so many creative geniuses also ruinously self-destructive? From Caravaggio to Jackson Pollack, from Arthur Rimbaud to Jack Kerouac, from Charlie Parker to Janis Joplin, to Kurt Cobain, and on and on, authors and artists throughout history have binged, pill-popped, injected, or poisoned themselves for their art. Fully illustrated and addictively readable, Genius and Heroin is the indispensable reference to the untidy lives of our greatest artists and thinkers, entertainingly chronicling how the notoriously creative lived and died—whether their ultimate downfalls were the result of opiates, alcohol, pot, absinthe, or the slow-motion suicide of obsession.
the typical refined garb students were required to wear back then. The decision of whether or not to stay in school was made for him, however, when his father died suddenly and the money to study dried up, leading Trakl to join the Austro-Hungarian military for a yearlong stint as a medic. When discharged, he went back to the bohemian crowd, though he had a tough time finding food and places to stay. A stroke of luck seemed about to change Trakl’s fate—an aging philosopher was looking to divvy up
Lincoln was assassinated, the President planned to cancel the evening at the Ford Theatre due to Mary’s persistent headache. When at the last minute another bottle of laudanum was procured, she took a dose and felt well enough to attend. Without a bottle of laudanum in the mix, John Wilkes Booth’s plan would have failed. THE LAUDANUM LOOK During the 1800s tuberculosis made many ill, and to ease its symptoms, laudanum was dispensed widely, to adults and children alike. There was a sort of
body to display artworks and drawings flourished during his time, rivaling today’s current trend in tattoo popularity. Decorating the skin with permanent pigments dates back to fourth century BC, and has more or less gone in and out of favor ever since. A few people cover their entire bodies until every inch of the “canvas” is used up. In the late 1800s Alexandrinos Constentenus ended up with 388 inter-connecting tattoos and became the first person to make a living displaying his passion: billed
father’s decision to ship him back to the Indiana farmland where Dean’s mother was raised. He grew to be five-foot-seven, thin, with pale eyes and a small nose. At first he studied law at Santa Monica College but dropped out to pursue acting. Only East of Eden was released in his lifetime: Rebel Without a Cause and Giant premiered after his death, and he was nominated posthumously for Academy Awards for each. Dean died in 1955 from a head-on collision while driving in a Porsche 550 Spyder. A car
“mistress of mistresses,” and his unattainable love for nearly the remainder of his life. Bending over you, queen of adored ones I thought I breathed the perfume of your blood. —CHARLES BAUDELAIRE Early in his writing career, Baudelaire was singled out for the unique perspectives in his essays and criticisms of the Parisian art scene. He published an autobiography at age twenty-six and then focused on producing translations, predominantly of the works of Edgar Allan Poe, who he felt was a