“‘THE HASHISH CLUB’ was the name given to a the group of French writers and artists. They first banded together in the years just before the Second Republic. To experiment with plus record their experiences of hashish. All were united in a search for new forms of expression and enlightenment. The assembled writers (and painters) comparing their symptoms under hashish or opium, and speculating on how their imagination and the writer’s art might be stimulated or betrayed by drugs”. (“The Hashish Club. — an Anthology of Drug Literature” edited by Peter Haining, publ. 1975 by Peter Owen Limited).
Patrons of “THE HASHISH CLUB” continue to meet at regular and irregular intervals throughout the world.
WILLIAM BLAKE, 1757-1827.
– “Man’s desires are limited by his perceptions. None can derive what he has not perceived”.
GEORGE COLLERIDGE, 1772-1834.<
– “Laudanum gave me repose, not sleep ; but you, I believe, know how devine that repose is, what a spot of enchantment, a green spot of fountain and flowers and trees in ther very heart of a waste of sands !” (Letter to him, April 1798)
THOMAS De QUINCEY, 1785-1859.
– “I took it, and in an hour, Oh Heavans ! What a revulsion ! What an upheaving, from its lowest depths, of the inner spirit 1 What an apocalypse of the world within me. What had opened before me — an abyss of divine enjoyment suddenly revealed. Here was a panacea for all human woes. Here was the secret of happiness, about which philosophers had disputed for so many ages, at once discovered”. (Essay, 1849)
GERARD de NERVAL, 1808-55.
– “Although they had hardly spent half an hour in each other’s company, they felt as though they had known one another for a thousand years”. (“Hashish”)
EDGAR ALLAN POE, 1809-49.
– “Usually I had half filled the bowl of the hookah with opium and tobacco cut and mningled, half and half. Sometimes when I had used the whole this mixture I experienced no peculier effect ; at other times I would have smoked the pipe more than two thirds out, when symptoms of mental derangement, which were even alarming, warned me to desist. However the effect proceeded with an easy gradation which deprived the indulgence of all danger. … I resolved to proceed by ‘degrees’. I would take a ‘very’ small dose in the first instance …. No doubt it was this very reeling of my senses — it was the dull delirium which already oppressed me, that prevented me from perceiving the incohereance of my reason — which blinded me to the folly of defining anything as either large or small where I had no preconceived standard of comparison.” (‘Life in Death’, 1849)
THEOPHILE GAUTIER, 1811-72.
-“Hashish has nothing of that ignoble drunkenness about it which the races of the North obtain from wine and alcohol ; it offers an intellectual intoxication”. (Essay, 1844)
CHARLES PIERRE BAUDELAIRE, 1821-67.
– “Now, even if we admit for a moment that hashish can confer genius, or at least increase it, it must not be forgotten that it is the nature of hashish to weaken the will, and so to give with one hand what it takes away with the other, that is, to bestow imagination without the power to make use of it” (“Les Paridis Artificiels”, 1860)
WILLIAM WILKIE COLLINS, 1824-89.
– “who was the man who invented laudenaum ? I thank him from the bottom of my heart. whoever he was …. I have had six delicious hiours of oblivion ; I have woek up with myu mind comoposed ; O have written s perfect little letter ; I have drunk my cup of tea with a real relish of it ; and I have dawdles over my morning toilet with an excquiste sense of relief — and all trhough the modest little bottle of drops which I see on my bedroom chimney-piece at the moment. Drops, you are a darling ! If I love nothing else, I love you !” (“Note made on a spring morning”, 1864)
FRANCIS THOMPSON, 1859-1907.
– “They exchanged, as it were, stores of human lifeblood for strange and artistic vibrations, fashioned from those poisoned dreams, masterpieces of form, permanent manifistations of what they had purchased from art at the expense of life ….. Yet none could ever have regretted their strange barter” (“Essay on the addict poets”, 1903)
HENRY HAVELOCK ELLIS, 1859-1939.
– “Many of the words and verses of writers and poets cannot be appreciated in their full significance, I am tempted to say, by one who has never been under the influence of Mescal”. (“Thr World of Dreams”, 1911)
WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, 1865-1939.
– “Explore all that passes before the mind’s eye — and merely because it passes !” (Autobiography)
ALEISTER CROWLEY, 1875-1947.
– “The action of Hashish is as varied as life itself, and seems to be determined almost entirely by the will or the mood of the ‘assassin’and that within the hedges of his mental and moral form”. (1920)
ALLEN GINSBERG, 1926- .
– “On a trip, you enter corriders inside, and into the heart. Naturally, you’ll come upon old feelings you didn’t know were there”. (“Interview, 1969)
JOHN LENNON, 1940- .
– “I used to just eat it all the time”. (“Lennon Remembers”, 1971)
bibliography – http://www.algroup.co.uk/wpb/hashish.htm