Of all the writers to emerge from the psychedelic ’60s, few have endured as long at the top of their craft as Robert Stone. In a candid interview with Big Think, the former Beat fellow-traveler, Merry Prankster, and Vietnam War correspondent discusses whether he misses the decade he memorialized in his National Book Award-winning novel “Dog Soldiers.”
While Stone confesses to some nostalgia for the mind-expanding fun of his youth, he also reflects on the stark truth that what drugs give up front must be paid off later. It’s a truth that informs much of his finest work, in which the trials of addiction and recovery have emerged as a recurring theme. Stone also shares some equally hard lessons about the discipline of writing, calling it the “service” of “furthering consciousness” and explaining why his latest story collection (“Fun With Problems”) was no easier to write than anything he’s done previously.