The Diary of a Drug Fiend
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Very few books have resulted in the controversy that "The Diary of a Drug Fiend" has caused since its original publication in 1922. While much of the debate is centered on the novel's author Aleister Crowley, the story itself has both enchanted and enraged audiences for nearly a century. Despite being a fictional work, Crowley drew from his own experiences as a heavy drug user for the context of the plot. Peter Pendragon and Louise Laleham, in a drug-induced night of passion, get married after meeting each other for the first time. During their honeymoon, they are introduced to heroin and cannot quit taking drugs. They end up in jail and are eventually returned to England. Through the rest of their "honeymoon period," both Peter and Louise find themselves unable to give up their addiction. In their own sections of narration, they both exhibit the demented mindset of an addict, giving the text a visceral and realistic feel. Rather than overcoming their addictions, though, Crowley introduces his characters to the beginnings of his own religion, Thelema, which says that users can master their drug addiction and control the drugs' affects over themselves. Regardless of one's opinion of Aleister Crowley and his beliefs, "The Diary of a Drug Fiend" is a truly modernistic and existential book that demands of its readers an understanding of the experiences and emotions of a drug addict.
told us the history of the monuments that crumbled on the crags. “This place will help you to correct your ideas,” he said, “of what is permanent, so far as anything is permanent.” We were indeed filled with a feeling of the futility of human effort as we contemplated the layers of civilisations, and looked down upon that last of them which was still flourishing, although the signs of decay were only too obvious. The modern town was not even built with the idea of defying the centuries. It was
enchanting. Dionysus was all on fire to get us up to the Abbey, and tugged at our arms. “Now Di,” said Hermes, “you know it's wrong to pull at people like that. It's one of the rules,” he explained to Lou, “not to interfere with people. The Big Lion says that every one would get on all right if only he were left alone.” He seemed to think the statement required explanation. “Cypris is reading Gibbon to us this week; and she shows us how all the trouble came from people meddling with other
it does when one is using heroin and cocaine, yet he did it without actual extravagance. I could understand how it was that he had his unique reputation for leading a fantastic life, and yet how no one could put a finger on any particular exploit as extraordinary in itself. I picked myself slowly together, and, after removing a few thorns from my bare legs, was sufficiently master of myself to say :— “So this is the workshop ?” “Once again, Sir Peter,” replied Lamus, “your intuition has proved
swift embrace, so violent that it disarranged my new Charvet necktie. The man came up. I was a little bored by the gravity of his manner, and rather disgusted by its solemn deference. Of course, one likes being treated as a kind of toy emperor in a way, but that sort of thing doesn't go with Paris. Still less does it go with cocaine. It annoyed me that the fellow was so obviously ill at ease, and also that he was so obviously proud of himself for having been sent to Paris on important business
complete absence of what had, after all, been the mainspring of our lives; our love for each other. That was gone, as if it had been packed in our luggage. The only approach to sympathetic communion between us was when Lou, practical to the last, brought out our pitifully small supply of heroin and cocaine. “That's all we've got,” she whispered in anguish of soul, “till God knows when.” We were frightfully afraid, into the bargain, of its being taken from us. We were gnawed by fierce anxiety