Thomas De Quincey

Thomas Penson De Quincey was an English essayist, best known for his Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1821). Many scholars suggest that in publishing this work De Quincey inaugurated the tradition of addiction literature in the West.
years of life: 15 August 1785 8 December 1859



Book translations


Дмитрий Кувшиновhas quoted2 years ago
(in which part of the pretensions, however, England can for some generations show but few claimants; at least, he is not aware of any known candidate for this honour who can be styled emphatically a subtle thinker, with the exception of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and in a narrower department of thought with the recent illustrious exception {2} of David Ricardo)
Дмитрий Кувшиновhas quoted2 years ago
It was not for the purpose of creating pleasure, but of mitigating pain in the severest degree, that I first began to use opium as an article of daily diet. In the twenty-eighth year of my age a most painful affection of the stomach, which I had first experienced about ten years before, attacked me in great strength.
Алиса Калита Алиса Калитаhas quoted6 months ago
However, as the historian Richard Newman stated in his excellent article ‘Opium Smoking in Late Imperial China’: ‘Opium smoking undoubtedly produced some addicts, and some of those addicts were reduced to a pitiable condition, but it is not their image that should be foremost in the mind; we should also remember the peasants carrying their lumps of poppy juice to market, the boatmen wrapped in their blankets passing around an opium pipe in the twilight, and the Chinese gentleman smoking peaceably at home with his friends. It is not the existence of addiction that requires explanation so much as the fact that, in a society in which opium was cheap and widely available, so many people smoked lightly or not at all. The production and consumption of opium were, for most people, normal rather than deviant activities, and it is the implications of this normality which ought to be explored, both for the sake of China’s history and for the sake of their relevance to modern societies learning to live with drugs.’
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