Honoré de Balzac Writes About “The Pleasures and Pains of Espresso,” and His Epic Espresso Dependancy

174 years after his demise, Hon­oré de Balzac stays an excessive­ly mod­ern-sound­ing wag. Have been he alive at the moment, he’d little question be pound­ing out his provoca­tive obser­va­tions in a cof­fice, a café whose free wifi, lenient employees, and abun­dant elec­tri­cal out­lets make it a magazine­web for writ­ers.

One has a hunch Star­bucks wouldn’t suf­fice…

Judg­ing by his humor­ous essay, “The Plea­sures and Pains of Cof­price,” Balzac would hunt down a spot that stays open previous mid­evening, and the strongest, most arcane brew­ing meth­ods. The Buck­et of Black Snakes was his Inexperienced Fairy. He was that almost all cun­ning of addicts, some­occasions imbib­ing as much as 50 cups of cof­price a day, care­ful­ly hus­band­ing his binges, know­ing simply when to drag again from the sting with a purpose to professional­lengthy his vice.

Cof­price — he known as it a “nice pow­er in [his] life” — made pos­si­ble a gru­el­ing writ­ing sched­ule that had him going to mattress at six, ris­ing at 1am to work till eight within the morn­ing, then seize­bing forty winks earlier than placing in anoth­er sev­en hours.

It takes greater than a cou­ple of cap­puc­ci­nos to essential­tain that form of tempo. When­ev­er a rea­son­in a position human dose didn’t stim­u­late, Balzac would start eat­ing cof­price pow­der on an emp­ty stom­ach, a “hor­ri­ble, quite bru­tal technique” that he rec­om­mend­ed “solely to males of exces­sive vig­or, males with thick black hair and pores and skin cov­ered with liv­er spots, males with large sq. palms and legs formed like bowl­ing pins.”

Appar­ent­ly it obtained the job accomplished. He cranked out eighty-five nov­els in twen­ty years and died at 51. The trigger? An excessive amount of work and caf­feine, they prefer to say. Oth­er spec­u­lat­ed caus­es of demise embrace hyper­ten­sion, ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis, and even syphilis.

Above, watch actor Paul Gia­mat­ti play Balzac all hopped up on cof­price. And right here you possibly can behold The Cof­price Pot That Fueled Hon­oré de Balzac’s Cof­price Addic­tion.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Paul Gia­mat­ti Performs Hon­oré de Balzac, Hopped Up on 50 Cof­charges Per Day

Philoso­phers Drink­ing Cof­price: The Exces­sive Habits of Kant, Voltaire & Kierkegaard

How Caf­feine Fueled the Enlight­en­ment, Indus­tri­al Rev­o­lu­tion & the Mod­ern World: An Intro­duc­tion by Michael Pol­lan

“The Virtues of Cof­price” Defined in 1690 Advert: The Treatment for Lethar­gy, Scurvy, Drop­sy, Gout & Extra

Ayun Hal­l­i­day has­n’t touched the stuff for 2 entire weeks. Fol­low her @AyunHallliday

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