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MerdeVerte

A Rebours

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Anyone ever read this one? I just ordered it.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Against-Grain-Rebour...1252878?ie=UTF8

 

From one of the reviews:

"It's hero, Des Esseintes, is basted on Absinthe (or hashish) half the time and his life is one prolongued hallucination. The author takes the reader so intricately into the main character's life, that we are living alongside him, absorbed in his decadence. We are invited to his parties (which rival Trimalchio's), are absorbed in his fantasies (which rival Fellini's) and basically are tripping with him in his unique and solipsistic universe. Oscar Wilde described this as the strangest work of fiction he had ever come across."

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I should have said a cause of hallucinations and not a hallucinogen. However alcohol abuse can do all sorts of odd things. Also about 25-33% (can't remember the exact number) of those going through serious alcohol withdrawals will experience hallucinations.

 

(Which all makes sense when you look at most vintage first hand accounts of absinthe hallucinations come from alcohol abusers or those that constantly dealt with them.)

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I finally got around to reading the book last week. There isn't any mention of absinthe or hashish in it. The rotten asshole of a reviewer must have been fucking around. I enjoyed it nonetheless. As much as I like it though, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I don't think many others would find the main character as fascinating as I did. I have a penchant for antiheroes. I don't know... I suppose if you have the patience to read through pages, and pages, and pages of tedious, mind-numbing description/symbolism just to get to the very little bits that are more interesting, you should check it out. Oh, not much plot to speak of either.

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However alcohol abuse can do all sorts of odd things. Also about 25-33% (can't remember the exact number) of those going through serious alcohol withdrawals will experience hallucinations.

 

A very small percentage of people who abuse alcohol experience alcohol-induced hallucinations or psychotic episodes. There is also delirium tremens, which includes withdrawal-induced hallucinations, and occurs in about 5% of alcoholics.

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FYI,

Sudden withdrawal from alcohol does not precipitate the syndrome.

Characteristics: aversion to food with irritability and sleeplessness. Deficiency of vitamin B plays a role in anorexia, nausea and such. Hallucinations, when occur, are of fantastic moving animals, different size and very colourful - that's why we refer to pink elephants or white mice.

The psychosis lasts from 2 to 10 days and frequently terminates in a profound sleep.

Delirium tremens can occur after 3 or 4 years of chronic alcoholism.

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Yes, that's what I said, 2 - 5 days into withdrawls. However, I have seen people begin DT's sooner. Usually they also have, in addition to frightening hallucinations of bugs, animals, and monsters, tactile hallucinations as well (bugs crawling on them are the norm). People who are at the stage of alcoholism where DT's occur ususally also have seizures as well but that happens before the DT's set in.

 

This is the stuff that was blamed on "absinthism" but none of the people I've seen go through it ( more than a few in the line of work) ever drank absinthe.

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Auditory and olfactory hallucinations can occur as well if not so frequently.

And we should mention proposterous confabulations and disorientation in time and place, too.

I think it depends on where the alcoholic is coming from, take Poland, for instance :)

At least, it has cleared out that absinthism was fiction, even if I am absinthist :cheers:

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You refering to Warniki's syndrome? Hey didn't we discuss that in a bar in Toloune?!

 

 

As an Absinthist myself, I've done extensive research to disprove absinthism! :drunk:

 

 

In the interest of science of course.

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Yes, that is right, Wernicke and Korsakoff syndrome as they are related. Have not been to Toloune yet :cheers: or do not remember :drunk: we must have researched too much. Still, in the name of science :)

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There is an interesting case study on Korsakoff's syndrome in Oliver Sachs' story, The Lost Mariner, in his collection, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. I would actually recommend the entire book. It's a fascinating read.

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