Dalrymple is always challenging the orthodoxy, but does it from a position of strength – he knows about these people, he’s done his time with them, so for me, his ideas have a greater resonance than those of some well-heeled politician showing how compassionate he is. I think he’s spot on about the Romantics’ use of opium. I always thought that the allegedly opium-influenced poetry was easily the worst. Coleridge clearly was a great poet – but Kubla Khan is just loopy, I’m afraid.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Poppycock by Dr Rob Spence is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

3 Responses to “Poppycock”

  1. One of my Coleridge favourites for a long time was “Dejection”, and I never could comprehend everybody’s enthusiasm for Kubla Khan. And now you’re using the word “loopy”. I feel recognized finally ;-)!
    But Mao as the greatest drug-addicts-therapist – isn’t this a bit of a stretch?

  2. I think the Mao reference was tongue in cheek – but it does suggest that coming off drugs isn’t as difficult as the drugs rehabilitation industry suggest it is.

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