A night with Engels: the creative effects of being tipsy

A typical evening for Engels while in Bremen (from a letter to his close friend and church pastor, Wilhelm Graeber):

The night before last I had a great booze-up in the wine cellar on two bottles of beer and two and a half bottles of 1794 Rüdesheimer. My prospective publisher and diverse philistines were with me … I can argue six such fellows to death at once, even if I am half-seas over and they are sober … They are dreadfully stolid people, these philistines; I began to sing, but they resolved unanimously against me that they would eat first, and then sing. They stuffed themselves with oysters, while I went on angrily smoking, drinking and shouting without taking any notice of them, until I fell into a blissful slumber (MECW 2: 484).

Or, the only way to read Hegel:

Now I’ll study Hegel over a glass of punch (MECW 2: 487).

Then in a letter to his sister:

Excuse me for writing so badly, I have three bottles of beer under my belt, hurrah, and I cannot write much more because this must go to the post at once. It is already striking half-past three and letters must be there by four o’clock. Good gracious, thunder and lightning, you can see that I’ve got some beer inside me. [one sentence is indecipherable because the paper is damaged]’ (MECW 2: 389).

And again:

In my sometimes drunken head it glows quite exceptionally; I long to find a great thought which will clear the ferment and blow the glow into a bright flame’ (MECW, vol. 2, p. 481).

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