10 Great Quotes About Alcohol From Prolific Writers

Of all the stereotypes in the world, the drunk writer is one of the most well known — and one that’s difficult not to romanticize. Just think, the image of a great writer toiling away at one of the most treasured manuscripts with a glass of whiskey next to him or her the bar — it seems like some dream sequence out of a film. Plus, just think about the job inherent to the writer, which is is to see and feel things, and then weave those sights and emotions into art. This can be a pretty alienating experience, which is why so many writers have turned to drink to soothe.

Many of us know the feeling of turning to a glass of something on one occasion or another, whether it's for a little liquid courage, or to prop oneself up after a lonely night — or maybe something else entirely. These 10 writers have felt it all, too, and used their gift with words to beautifully convey everything you’ve ever felt about booze.

“I have so strong a sense of creation, of tomorrow, that I cannot get drunk, knowing I will be less alive, less well, less creative the next day.”

—Anaïs Nin

“The excitement of alcohol and the excitement of fantasy are very similar.”

—John Cheever

“Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.”

—George Bernard Shaw

“Good people drink good beer.”

—Hunter S. Thompson

“Drinking is an emotional thing. It joggles you out of the standardism of everyday life, out of everything being the same. It yanks you out of your body and your mind and throws you against the wall. I have the feeling that drinking is a form of suicide where you’re allowed to return to life and begin all over the next day. It’s like killing yourself, and then you’re reborn. I guess I’ve lived about ten or fifteen thousand lives now.”

—Charles Bukowski

“I drank a lot in college, which seems to be almost a graduation requirement. It was a way to be uninhibited and ridiculous and experimental, especially with regards to boys. And like all college students, I drank awful stuff — Diet Coke and rum, whiskey sours made with the cheapest, worst whiskey, and lousy beer. But the point was to be together, get tipsy, and be a wild college student, so it worked.”

—Susan Orlean

“Here’s to alcohol, the rose-colored glasses of life.”

—F. Scott Fitzgerald

“After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.”

—Oscar Wilde

“I know something about dread myself, and appreciate the elaborate systems with which some people fill the void, appreciate all the opiates of the people, whether they are as accessible as alcohol and heroin and promiscuity or as hard to come by as faith in God or History.”

—Joan Didion

“I drink to make other people more interesting.”

—Ernest Hemingway