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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nick Tosches on Opium Dens

Nick Tosches on Opium Dens | vanityfair.com: "Nonetheless, I was born to smoke opium. More precisely, I was born to smoke opium in an opium den.

Why opium? Thomas De Quincey’s description of it as “the celestial drug” is not far from perfect: “Here,” said he, “was a panacea, a φάρμ˘ακον νηπενθές, for all human woes; here was the secret of happiness about which the philosophers had disputed for so many ages, at once discovered.” This celestial drug, this panacea, “communicates serenity and equipoise to all the faculties, active or passive,” and “introduces amongst them the most exquisite order, legislation, and harmony.” No one, “having once tasted the divine luxuries of opium, will afterwards descend to the gross and mortal enjoyments of alcohol.”"

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