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LES ECHOS

Under The Influence: Tracing A Long, Twisted History Of Artists And Their Drugs

Whether alcohol or absinthe, LSD or heroin, some of humanity's creative geniuses produced their greatest work as mind-altering substances did theirs. A Paris exhibit connects the dots.

Austrian painter Arnulf Rainer used to draw under the influence of mescaline, LSD, psilocybin, and hypnosis
Austrian painter Arnulf Rainer used to draw under the influence of mescaline, LSD, psilocybin, and hypnosis
Philippe Dagen

PARIS – For the first time in Paris, the Maison Rouge art foundation explores head-on the role of drugs in art.

It is impossible to imagine a history of modern and contemporary literature without English essayist Thomas de Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater or French poet Charles Baudelaire’s Paradis Artificiels (Artificial Paradises). The list is long, from Baudelaire to American novelist William Burroughs and German writer Ernst Jünger.

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Ideas

The Trauma Of War, A Poisoned Guide For Parenting

As a psychoanalyst, Wolfgang Schmidbauer has researched the psychological effects of war on children — and in the process, also examined his own post-War childhood in Germany. In this article, he warns that parents tend to use their experiences of suffering as a method of education, with serious consequences.

Parents traumatized by war make their own experiences of suffering a core principle of education.

Wolfgang Schmidbauer*

As a young married civilian, British poet Robert Graves describes his mental state after World War I. "Shells used to come bursting on my bed at midnight, even though Nancy shared it with me," he wrote in Goodbye to All That, his wartime biography. "Strangers in daytime would assume the faces of friends who had been killed."

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