LevGrossman

Posts Tagged ‘actually there isn’t a lot of sex in this one’


Monday, May 17th, 2010

Writing and Anti-Depressants, Part 2: Sex, Drugs, Suicidal Ideation and Stolen Shadows

The whole idea that you can’t write good fiction on medication is of course complete bollocks. David Foster Wallace wrote most of what he wrote on Nardil, which is a way harder-core med than anything I ever got near. (This argument is or is not effective depending on whether or not you like DFW’s stuff.)

It’s not like writers haven’t been self-medicating phentermine with alcohol since forever anyway. But we tend to be fussy about anything clinical or medical, i.e. anything that isn’t sufficiently self-destructive. It’s like Rilke refusing psychoanalysis because he thought it would kill his muse:

“Psychoanalysis is too fundamental a help for me, it helps you once and for all, it clears you up, and to find myself finally cleared up one day might be even more hopeless than this chaos.”

Spoken like a man who was sleeping w/ his shrink. (Which he was.)

But that’s how I felt myself after I went off SSRI’s. And I did not even have sex w/ my shrink.

After my Palm Beach adventure I stayed away from anything pharmaceutical for a year. As far as I was concerned writing required raw unaltered brain chemistry. If I was going to get anywhere with The Magicians, nothing else would do.
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