Wretched Verses Issue 2: The Den


Opium dens, once prevalent across the globe, embody the distinction between drug use and abuse. These establishments were deeply woven into the fabric of the Belle Époque, with opium’s widespread acceptance and romanticization particularly resonating among poets and artists.


Drawing inspiration from various literary works, The Den takes you on a journey through the world of opium, delving into the complexities of drug use and abuse. Among the key influences are Thomas de Quincey’s mesmerizing Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1822, revised 1851/52) and William Burroughs’ compelling Junkie and The Yage Diaries, a fascinating correspondence between Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. To enrich your understanding, we also recommend R.D. Laing’s The Divided Self: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness, Graham Hancock’s Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind, Rick Strassman’s DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor’s Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences, Robert Tindall’s The Jaguar that Roams the Mind: An Amazonian Plant Spirit Odyssey, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s timeless classic the Sherlock Holmes series.


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