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The existential drinker$
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Steven Earnshaw

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780719099618

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719099618.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

Chapter:
(p.239) Conclusion
Source:
The existential drinker
Author(s):

Steven Earnshaw

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719099618.003.0014

This chapter considers the decline of representations of the Existential drinker figure, partly a consequence of Existentialism’s fading from view as its ideas became assimilated, diluted, or discredited, and its major proponents faded away. It also notes an increasing antagonism towards the writer-drinker, once a staple of twentieth century literature. The change in the philosophical, literary and cultural landscape is seen in a number of texts where the protagonist is a committed drinker: Ivan Gold’s Sams in a Dry Season (1990), John O’Brien’s Better (2009, published posthumously) and Patrick de Witt’s Ablutions (2009). The acceptance of a neo-liberal world devoid not just of meaning but the search for meaning often characterises the nihilistic and hedonistic impulses of these novels.

Keywords:   Better, Ablutions, Sams in a Dry Season, hedonism, writer-drinker, neo-liberalism

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