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The Hashish Eater

Fitz Hugh Ludlow


When Fitz Hugh Ludlow was in college, he found a jar of cannabis extract at his pharmacy, deduced that this was the fabled “hashish” described in The Arabian Nights and The Count of Monte Cristo, and gave in to his curiosity by swallowing a spoonful. His life would never be the same.

The Hashish Eater attempts to describe the bizarre distortions of perspective and imagination that Ludlow experienced on extraordinarily large doses of cannabis. Because cannabis was mostly unknown in the English-speaking world at that time, he didn’t have the vocabulary to describe his “trips,” and he couldn’t expect his readers to have had similar experiences to compare. Because of this, he tests the limits of metaphor and creative description; and because of that, his work remains an important document to both understanding and poetically revealing the phenomenology of cannabis intoxication.

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