Literary Rogues: A Scandalous History of Wayward Authors
A Wildly Funny and Shockingly True Compendium of the Bad Boys (and Girls) of Western Literature
Rock stars, rappers, and actors haven't always had a monopoly on misbehaving. There was a time when authors fought with both words and fists, a time when poets were the ones living fast and dying young. This witty, insightful, and wildly entertaining narrative profiles the literary greats who wrote generation-defining classics such as The Great Gatsby and On the Road while living and loving like hedonistic rock icons, who were as likely to go on epic benders as they were to hit the bestseller lists. Literary Rogues turns back the clock to consider these historical (and, in some cases, living) legends, including Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, Hunter S. Thompson, and Bret Easton Ellis. Brimming with fascinating research, Literary Rogues is part nostalgia, part literary analysis, and a wholly raucous celebration of brilliant writers and their occasionally troubled legacies.
with Renée-Pélagie]. I won’t be sure of anything until I see them at the altar,” the Comte wrote. On May 1, 1763, the Sade and Montreuil families met in Versailles. The king even made an appearance, lending his royal signature to the marriage contract. Everyone was there. Except ... wait. Where was the groom? Sade had never left Paris. After breaking up with Lauris, he was now trying to reconcile with her. Since the missing groom was also treating his venereal disease, the comte told the
home. He was having trouble concentrating in the office, he said. Hawks gave him the go-ahead for the day. After Faulkner failed to show up to work for the next several days, Hawks phoned the writer’s hotel. Faulkner had checked out earlier in the week to finish his screenplay—at “home” in Mississippi. In 1949, Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for “his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel.” For someone who was drunk much of the time, he was
factors. Thomas died five days later at St. Vincent’s Hospital. His only attendants were a nurse and John Berryman, an American poet with problems of his own. 16 The Beat Generation “Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.” —JACK KEROUAC Following the end of World War II, a flood of new consumers strengthened the U.S. economy, and the nation’s gross national product more than doubled between 1940 and 1960. Americans moved from
Campaign Trail and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, were ostensibly works of nonfiction that read like novels. Or were they novels that Thompson passed off as works of nonfiction? Any other writer would have been crucified for such flagrant abuse of the very concept of “journalism.” Thompson not only got away with it, but was celebrated for it by critics, peers, and his legions of fans. Blurring the line between fact and fiction was only one of the many transgressions Thompson got away with. He
would have proved a still greater poet if, by strength of reason, he could have controlled the propensities which his sensibility engendered,” Wordsworth wrote of Burns. It’s also possible that De Quincey may have stuck his nose where it didn’t belong. “Mrs. Wordsworth is a better wife than Wordsworth deserves,” he is reported to have said. Wordsworth had his own opinions on De Quincey’s love life as well. After De Quincey fell in love with an uneducated farm girl, Wordsworth tried to dissuade