Miscellaneous Alice > Is drugs cheating when it comes to writing?

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Cheater.

Is drugs cheating when it comes to writing?

Postby Cheater. » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:18 pm

To make it clear this isn't another did he use drugs or not.

I just have some question because people at both sides think that this is very important.

What I wonder is.
Is using drugs cheating when it comes to writing?
Would you like the books less if he had used drugs?

Because we have so many authors who are among the best in the world who used drugs.
Aldous Huxley
Robert Louis Stevenson
Stephen King,
William Shakespeare
Charles Dickens.

I can make a endless list and if I were to include artist, painters, presidents and inventors it would be even longer.

So why is this such a touchy subject?

And no I don't personally think he did drugs but I can't see the big deal if he did.

[edit by webmaster] Moved to the appropriate subforum

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Beautiful Soup
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Postby Beautiful Soup » Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:58 pm

Personally, the only reason I have a problem with people claiming (or insisting) Carroll took drugs is because there's no evidence he did, and he almost certainly didn't.

I don't see drug use as cheating, but the pro-drug guys should check and accept the facts and go read Kubla Khan instead.

3rdpoliceman

Postby 3rdpoliceman » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:27 pm

To me, drugs are like steroids for the imagination. So I'd kind of consider using them to be cheating. xD

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Postby Beautiful Soup » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:03 am

Do you consider then that the works of Byron or Coleridge are less splendid for having been inspired or influenced by opiates?

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Postby CaffeinatedBovinae » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:56 pm

Almost every time I talk to someone about AIW, the first thing to come out of their mouth is how Carroll was "on drugs". So they don't give the story a second thought. This is frustrating to me because it really is an amazing story and they refuse to see that.

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Postby AlexLowry » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:58 pm

I tend to think drugs destroy imagination instead of improving it. One thing is for sure, it slowly destroys brain cells, so taking them as "steroids" (in 3rdpoliceman's words :-) ) is a bad idea and a misconsception about what drugs are for. I don't think doing drugs is wrong, but I am certain it's not healty to take them on your own.

To answer the question more clearly: I don't think using drugs to improve one's creativity is cheating, it's just useless and dangerous.

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Postby CaffeinatedBovinae » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:19 am

I tend to think drugs destroy imagination instead of improving it. One thing is for sure, it slowly destroys brain cells, so taking them as "steroids" (in 3rdpoliceman's words :-) ) is a bad idea and a misconsception about what drugs are for. I don't think doing drugs is wrong, but I am certain it's not healty to take them on your own.

To answer the question more clearly: I don't think using drugs to improve one's creativity is cheating, it's just useless and dangerous.
In the long-run it may cripple the imagination. However, from my experience, during episodes people can have some rather "creative" thoughts. I, myself, have never done drugs but, I have some friends that have and some of the things I heard them speak of were pretty crazy.

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Postby Naiobe » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:02 am

I wouldn't consider drugs cheating. I don't think it heightens the imagination. If anything I think that an artist being on drugs would produce less work. Plus alot of artist who were on drugs were producing great things before they started using.

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Postby We'reAllMadHere » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:37 pm

I - and this is my first, and most likely unexpected, post in a while - have always felt irritated by the idea people seem to have that Carroll couldn't have written the books without drugs, as if it's somehow impossible for someone to write such dreamlike works with the use of imagination and creativity alone. In fact, I'm certain that many people here could write things infinitely stranger than Carroll, and all without even a whiff of opium-or-whatever-they-speculate-he-took! :-)

P.S.: Ah, to be back!

EDIT: Though Coleridge did take opium, though for health rather than creativity.

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Postby AlexLowry » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:10 am

Welcome back, my friend! :D
EDIT: Though Coleridge did take opium, though for health rather than creativity.
I have read somewhere that during the Victorian era, drugs we consider nowadays to be very harmful (such as cocaine or opium) were used as medication, so I am not surprised. In Lewis Carroll's case apparently, he used very strong products to fight his headaches, but if those products ever had side effects, I think it would show in his diaries and in his behaviour in society.

One thing is for sure: Alice was not written under the influence of drugs: what kind of creep would offer the tale of his hallucinogenic trips to a little girl? Come on, people, be reasonable...

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Postby CaffeinatedBovinae » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:43 am


I have read somewhere that during the Victorian era, drugs we consider nowadays to be very harmful (such as cocaine or opium) were used as medication, so I am not surprised. In Lewis Carroll's case apparently, he used very strong products to fight his headaches, but if those products ever had side effects, I think it would show in his diaries and in his behaviour in society.

One thing is for sure: Alice was not written under the influence of drugs: what kind of creep would offer the tale of his hallucinogenic trips to a little girl? Come on, people, be reasonable...
Ha! Asking people to be reasonable, that's a joke right?

But, really, it was during a rowing trip, with the Liddell girls, (and maybe someone else, I'm not quite sure) that he came up with Alice. From, what I understand he was just making it up as he went along and he made fanciful stories like Alice on rowing trips, like this one, all the time. I believe that I've read that other people, colleagues and friends, would also go on these rowing trips as well. I can't really imagine that these people would want to spend time with him so frequently if he was tripping all the time. I especially can't imagine the Liddell parents allowing the girls to visit with him if he was.

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Postby AlexLowry » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:03 am

Ha! Asking people to be reasonable, that's a joke right?
I know, it's almost impossible to make them hear the truth :(

Exactly, Lewis Carroll improvised completely the tale of Alice in Wonderland during this rowing trip with the Liddell daughters (the other adult who accompanied them was the Reverend Duckworth, by the way :-) ), so there is absolutely no way he was under the influence of drugs at this moment. It would be grotesque.

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Postby Lenny » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:35 am

Let's keep this thread on topic.

Discussions about whether Carroll was or was not on drugs belong here: viewtopic.php?t=284

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Postby AlexLowry » Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:31 pm

Sorry about that...

An area where drugs can be "useful" if I may say so, is music. I listen to a lot of bands fon the late 60's and 70's such as Pink Floyd, The Beatles and Jefferson Airplane and I always wondered how beautiful the melodies and the lyrics were even though the musicians used tons of acid and weed.

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Postby Guest » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:04 pm

Sorry about that...

An area where drugs can be "useful" if I may say so, is music. I listen to a lot of bands fon the late 60's and 70's such as Pink Floyd, The Beatles and Jefferson Airplane and I always wondered how beautiful the melodies and the lyrics were even though the musicians used tons of acid and weed.
So drugs can help musicians to write better lyrics? Then why can't it help writers to write better?
Seems a bit contradictory.


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