The modern American canon would not exist without all this madness and alcohol ...says Micheal Carolan (left) in The Amhearst Bulletin. Carolan is teaching a course at the University of Massachusetts entitled Dionysus Hitting Bottom: The Alcoholic Narrative in Film and Literature.
Those who ponder the fact that Malaysian authors aren't winning Nobel Prizes might like to think about this :
... of eight native-born Americans awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, five were alcoholics, including Sinclair Lewis and Eugene O'Neill. ... (And) Alcohol is a factor if not the central focus of the three top modern novelists - Hemingway, Faulkner and Fitzgerald. ... As novelists they were addressing how man lived in the 20th century, and the answer was, through drinking.And yet, says Carolan, authors' alcoholism has been ignored or denied in literary criticism.
This looks set to change with the growth of :
... the relatively new area of inquiry known as "addiction studies," a multidisciplinary field that combines literary criticism with sociological and historical perspectives. ... Carolan said his class also brings together fields of addiction medicine, film studies, psychology, sociology, cultural and gender studies.
(Story found via Literary Saloon.)