Shop > Literary

Out of Stock

Treatise on Modern Stimulants

Honoré de Balzac
Wakefield Press
11.5 × 18 cm
79 pp
Philosophy, Food, Literature

Honoré de Balzac’s Treatise on Modern Stimulants is a meditation on excess by a man who lived by means of excess. First published in French in 1839 as an appendix to Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin’s Physiology of Taste, this Treatise was at once Balzac’s effort at addressing what he perceived to be an oversight in gastronomic literature, a chapter toward his never-completed body of analytic studies (alongside such essays as Treatise on Elegant Living), as well as a meditation on the role pleasure and excess play in shaping society.

Balzac here describes his “terrible and cruel method” for brewing coffee that can help the artist and author find inspiration, claims that tobacco can be credited with having brought peace to Germany, and describes his first exerience of alcoholic intoxication (which required seventeen bottles of wine and two cigars). Beyond its braggadocio and whimsy, though, this treatise ultimately speaks to Balzac’s obsession with death and decline, and attempts to confront in capsule form the broader implications of dissipating one’s vital forces, one’s inspiration, and ultimately, one’s life.

  1. Treatise on Modern Stimulants

Related Items

  1. Georges Perec and Mara Cologne Wythe-Hall: Wishes
  2. Ingo Niermann: Solution 295-304: Mare Amoris
  3. Paola Antonelli, Irma Boom, Anna Burckhardt, and Neri Oxman: Neri Oxman: Material Ecology
  4. Who Is Michael Jang?
  5. John Berger : Why Look at Animals?
  6. Micah Silver: Figures in Air
  7. Shannon Webb-Campbell: I Am a Body of Land
  8. Georges Perec and the Oulipo: Winter Journeys
  9. The Future of the New: Artistic Innovation in Times of Social Acceleration
  10. Andreas Angelidakis and Karen Marta: Fin de Siècle
  11. Meschac Gaba
  12. Mark Dion: Theatre of the Natural World
  13. Jenny Holzer, Kathy Acker, Barbara Kruger, Lee Ranaldo, and David Wojnarowicz: Just Another Asshole No. 6
  14. More Than Real: Art in the Digital Age
  15. Nathalie Zonnenberg: Conceptual Art in a Curatorial Perspective
  16. Cécile B. Evans, Cao Fei, Elsa Himmer, Lynn Hershmann Leeson, Shana Moulton, Heike Munder, Paul B. Preciado, Frances Stark, Wu Tsang, Anna Uddenberg, VNS Matrix, Yvonne Volkart, Joanna Walsh, Guan Xiao, and Anicka Yi: Producing Futures
  17. Keith Haring: Manhattan Penis Drawings for Ken Hicks
  18. Sarah Sze: Centrifuge
  19. Copy This Book: An Artist’s Guide to Copyright
  20. David Shrigley: Goat Music
  21. Image Bank
  22. Milena Mercer : Altered States
  23. Sarah Sze: Timekeeper
  24. Olafur Eliasson: Reality Projector
  25. Ari Marcopoulos, Karen Marta, and Hans Ulrich Obrist: The Athens Dialogues
  26. Jim Shaw: The Wig Museum
  27. David Mollin and John Reardon: Ch-ch-ch-changes
  28. Michael Dumontier and Micah Lexier: Call Ampersand Response
  29. Ken Lum: Everything is Relevant
  30. An Atlas of Rare & Familiar Colour
  31. Mark Cheetham: Landscape Into Eco Art
  32. Mina Stone: Cooking for Artists
  33. Paul Chan: Selected Writings 2000-2014
  34. Pascal Gielen and Niels Van Tomme: Aesthetic Justice
  35. Hilma af Klint
  36. Antwaun Sargent: Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists
  37. Martine Syms: Shame Space
  38. Sigrid Asmus, Romare Bearden, Robert Colescott, Ellen Gallagher, Mildred Howard, Wangechi Mutu, Alison Saar, Lorna Simpson, Mickalene Thomas, and Kara Walker: Beyond Mammy, Jezebel & Sapphire
  39. Michael Snow: Cover to Cover
  40. Garry Neill Kennedy: The Last Art College