alcohol is not the same as alcohol during Prohibition—a notable as-
pect of the “cultural” climate prevailing during the years when this book
was conceived and written. For those who were not bootleggers but who
merely patronized bootleggers, alcohol under such conditions was in a
penumbra of motives indeterminately lawless and sanctioned by custom.
On Stress, Its Seeking 21
18476_ch01.qxd 3/6/03 12:20 PM Page 21
The chemical spirits were thus linked with a kind of spirit that had the
aura of adventure even while being quite within the range of ordinary ef-
it. They denatured the denatured. Everyone would
put some denaturing in it. Then the bootlegger would take
some of the denaturing out. My body wouldn’t put up with it.
FG: It’s all a seeking for transcendence. Alcohol, all drugs, whatever,
is an attempt to achieve transcendence. Authority believes you
can control transcendence with doxological methods, through
ceremony, through ritual, through language. But if they believe
that the expression of personal transcendence is pure escape
external to their ritual, then it’s prohibited.
KB: I was up at Wesleyan. I was