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Chesterton on absinthe

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Quidam (Artemis)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Artemis

Post Number: 836
Registered: 10-2000

Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 1:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hemingway placed the consumption of absinthe well after the ban, and more convincingly. When someone sets up green absinthe as an OPPOSITE to white milk, I have to wonder if he's ever seen water poured into absinthe ...
Quelle vie ont eue nos grands-parents
Entre l'absinthe et les grands-messes... ?

Dr. O (Dr_ordinaire)
Elitist Bastard
Username: Dr_ordinaire

Post Number: 468
Registered: 7-2001
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 7:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

This is an interesting item because it places the consumption of absinthe during Prohibition.

It is found in G.K. Chesterton's "The incredulity of Father Brown", in the chapter "The ghost of Gideon Wise".

The book was copyrighted in 1923, and I seem to remember that Chesterton did a lecture tour of the USA in the early '20s.

He is describing two meetings happening in a city in the USA, and the drinks present in one of them.

"Perhaps the one point in common to the two council chambers was that both violated the American Constitution by the display of strong drink".

"John Elias was a dark watchful man in spectacles, with a black pointed beard; and he had learnt in many European cafes a taste for absinthe."

"For what stood in front of the poet Horne was a glass of milk, and its very mildness seemed in that setting to have something sinister about it, as if its opaque and colourless colour were of some leprous paste more poisonous than the dead sick green of absinthe."

In an interesting twist of bigotry, Chesterton makes the absinthe drinker a Jew. Chesterton never falls for the stereotyping of Jews as miserly, instead he makes them decadent, a far graver sin in his universe.

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