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Kurt Andersen, host of Studio 360 on NPR, is a journalist and the author of the novels Hey Day, Turn of the Century, The Real Thing, and his latest non-fiction book[…]

Kurt Andersen grants that drugs and alcohol offer few benefits and almost certainly don’t enhance creativity, yet the author does believe that they can play a key role in making life complete.

Kurt Andersen: I don't know about alcohol and creativity. I think that the classic idea that, "Oh, look, all these great artists and great writers drank a lot; therefore, I better drink a lot." I think that probably has that desire to embrace the "id" supped up on alcohol is probably led people astray more than it's helped them.

But I certainly am not going to tell people they should be tea tottlers or never smoke pot or never take drugs; I have taken drugs and smoked pot and drunk too much in my life.

Has it helped my creativity? No, but I think life has -- life must be lived in all of its -- with all of its bumps and ups and downs. But in the end, you need to be clear headed enough to actually do the work and the work of -- the creative work, it seems to me, in the doing of it, is not very enhanced by being drunk or being stoned.


October 13, 2009