Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Books & Booze

The aforementioned post about pens and pints:

A lot of my favorite book bloggers have booze on the brain.

The Book Examiner is writing a series of columns about the alliance of alcohol and the written word. She had titled it Book Lush.

“The marriage of literature and alcohol is the most harmonious and prolific union of all time. From them have sprung, as from the head of Zeus, the novels, ideas, and poetry that have moved civilizations,” she says.

In her first column, she uses Beowulf as an excuse to talk about mead.

She promises her second entry will mix up the medicine with Chaucer and sex.

Meanwhile, Richard Francis explains why utopias and novels are similar to pubs.

First, utopias:
All my life I’ve loved pubs. My non-fiction is concerned with utopian theories and experiments, and pubs can be seen in the same light – they are communities devised to make people feel happy, though of course they don’t necessarily succeed. Neither do utopian communities, and my guess is that pubs have a higher success rate.

Then, novels:
You open the pub door, walk in, and there are a set of characters with their own stories to tell you. Exactly the same thing happens when you open a novel.

Francis has written a novel in England, The Old Spring, about a day in the life of a pub. He is also working on a nonfiction book about transcendentalists.

As an addendum to Francis’s blog post, he listed the top 10 literary pubs in The Guardian.

Carolyn Kellogg, of Jacket Copy, replied by noting the lack of American watering hole in Francis’s list and asked if there are any decent American-penned pubs?

-Jason Lea,



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