Tuesday 14 March 2017

Famous Writers , Infamous Habits



We often read a story and wonder how it occurred to its author, or how they decided to put it on paper. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon that the mode of writing is often a result of a writer’s personal eccentric habits. Many authors could not put down their coffee while writing, many others needed to puff cigarettes as they wrote. Let’s have a look at some of the very odd ones.

Friedrich von Schiller
The German poet and philosopher, Friedrich Schiller, would keep rotten apples in his desk drawer. He would deliberately let the apples rot, because the aroma (or the pungent odour) inspired him to write. This was relayed to his readers by his friend Goethe, who once had the fortunate (or unfortunate) opportunity of being at Schiller’s desk himself, where he could smell the odour emanating from the rotten apples. 

Victor Hugo
Hugo was known to have purposely driven himself to write
​The Hunchback of Notre Dame ​ against a deadline of a little over six months. He put himself on house arrest and locked away all his clothes, so he wouldn’t be lured to leave the house or attend a party. It is often said he wrote in a state of complete nakedness. And yes, he met his deadline.  Honor​√©​ de Balzac The French novelist Honor√© de Balzac consumed some 40 to 50 cups of coffee a day to get his creative juices flowing. Some sources says that he would take a 90-minute nap twice or thrice during a day, and continue to write during the rest. 

Tennessee Williams

The famous American author and playwright, known for his masterpiece ​A Streetcar Named Desire was known to have struggled through an alcohol addiction. He could not write without a certain amount of alcohol in his system. This addiction eventually led to his death, when he choked on a bottle cap due to his inability to spit it out in a state of drunkenness. 

Truman Capote
The famous American author, Truman Capote, had a variety of personal idiosyncrasies. He couldn’t begin or end anything on a Friday. He wrote on his bed, lying down, with a cigarette and a cup of coffee always handy. 

Lord Byron
The famous Romantic poet, Lord Byron, needed to have sex to write. He was a bi-sexual, and was known to have slept with over 250 men and women in a single year at Venice, and to remember each of his adventures, he clipped a strand of his partner’s pubic hair and saved it in an envelope marked with his or her name. 

Charles Dickens
The much-loved author of the Victorian era, Charles Dickens, visited the morgue regularly. He used to spend hours at a morgue, just staring at the dead bodies. It fascinated him to look at the human bodies, dead and naked. The researches have gone to lengths to prove that Dickens was also obsessed with the idea of cannibalism. 

Charles Baudelaire
The French poet had a very odd habit of keeping his pet bat in a cage on his writing desk. Apparently, looking at his bat helped him in articulating his ideas into poetry better. He also talked about his bat, obsessively, at lengths, during interviews and social gatherings. 

(Contributed by Ms.Mokshda Manchanda)

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