Mourning for the night before
September 14, 2017 3:17 AM   Subscribe

The Metaphysics of the Hangover (Mark Edmundson, The Hedgehog Review).
posted by sapagan (13 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
"His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum." - one of the all-time great Amis lines. Last read it 22 years ago, never forgot it, lol'd just now.
posted by jmccw at 4:13 AM on September 14 [3 favorites]


The word toxic hides in the middle of intoxication, like a rat in gift box.

This is beautiful.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:54 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


One aspect of getting older is that my definition of "too much" has gone way down, since it takes so much less alcohol to end up with a hangover now than when I was younger. It takes much of the fun out of excess.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:36 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


Someone told me that there's a neurochemical cause for the feelings of anxiety/imminent doom that one experiences in a severe hangover. Not sure if true, or recovery folklore.
posted by thelonius at 5:42 AM on September 14


I don't know about the neurochemical cause for the feelings of anxiety/imminent doom that come with a bad hangover but I can confirm it exists and in Ireland we call it The Fear. I can attest that it gets worse with age.
posted by roolya_boolya at 7:15 AM on September 14 [7 favorites]


Never suffered anxiety; things usually seem bad enough to be going on with. Though actually if you can lie still in a dark quiet room for many hours, some hangovers are not that terrible.

It's all over once you reproduce, of course. I mean, you don't want to be drunk in charge of a baby anyway, but my god you don't want a hangover when you're dealing with crying and nappies.
posted by Segundus at 7:16 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


you don't want to be drunk in charge of a baby anyway
Drink when the baby drinks, and you're OK
posted by thelonius at 7:37 AM on September 14 [3 favorites]


This was so perfect, thank you.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 7:40 AM on September 14


It's all over once you reproduce, of course. I mean, you don't want to be drunk in charge of a baby anyway, but my god you don't want a hangover when you're dealing with crying and nappies.

I can only agree with half of this statement.
posted by Literaryhero at 8:25 AM on September 14


> The hangover is mourning for the feeling of wholeness that you had the night before. You look back at a time when you attained—or stole—the experience Jean-Paul Sartre calls being in itself.

...or it's payment for being an irritant to the universe all night while cocooned in one's surety-of-awesomeness against all reality and repeated evidence?
posted by CheapB at 9:20 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


Great article. I've long felt that hangovers have a spiritual, transcendent aspect, but my interest is more in their abatement, which is sometimes sudden. After a morning of miserable recuperation, a moment occurs when—O divine Grace!—the haze lifts, the mind clears, the sun shines, and its light is no longer to be feared.
posted by crosley at 12:13 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


Somewhat related, a great passage on drinking from Rabelais:
We poor innocents drink but too much without thirst. Not I truly, who am a sinner, for I never drink without thirst, either present or future. To prevent it, as you know, I drink for the thirst to come. I drink eternally. This is to me an eternity of drinking, and drinking of eternity. Let us sing, let us drink, and tune up our roundelays. Where is my funnel? What, it seems I do not drink but by an attorney? Do you wet yourselves to dry, or do you dry to wet you? Pish, I understand not the rhetoric (theoric, I should say), but I help myself somewhat by the practice. Baste! enough! I sup, I wet, I humect, I moisten my gullet, I drink, and all for fear of dying. Drink always and you shall never die.
posted by sapagan at 1:18 PM on September 14




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