"No other human being, no woman, no poem or music, book or painting can replace alcohol in its power to give man the illusion of real creation."
The void you discover one day in your teens – nothing can ever undo that discovery. But alcohol was invented to help us bear the void in the universe – the motion of the planets, their imperturbable wheeling through space, their silent indifference to the place of our pain. A man who drinks is interplanetary. He moves through interstellar space. It’s from there he looks down. Alcohol doesn’t console, it doesn’t fill up anyone’s psychological gaps, all it replaces is the lack of God. It doesn’t comfort man. On the contrary, it encourages him in his folly, it transports him to the supreme regions where he is master of his own destiny. No other human being, no woman, no poem or music, book or painting can replace alcohol in its power to give man the illusion of real creation. Alcohol’s job is to replace creation. And that’s what it does for a lot of people who ought to have believed in God and don’t any more. But alcohol is barren. The words a man speaks in the night of drunkenness fade like the darkness itself at the coming of day. Drunkenness doesn’t create anything, it doesn’t enter into the words, it dims and slackens the mind instead of stimulating it. I’ve spoken under its influence. The illusion’s perfect: you’re sure what you’re saying has never been said before. But alcohol can’t produce anything that lasts. It’s just wind.
– Marguerite Duras, a writer, film director and alcoholic, from her essay Alcohol in her 1987 book Practicalities.
– Marguerite Duras>>
Passage from her book Practicalities>>
– The painting is The Feast of Bacchus by Philips Koninck