Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Top Five Literary Rock Stars

Once upon a time, being a writer and being cool were not mutually exclusive. And I don't mean cool in a awesome, charismatic,intelligent way, I mean cool in a wild, hard-partying, self destructive way.These guys were about as far away from the nerds who read them as anyone could possibly get; they were all about sex, drugs, and the similes. Here's the top five writers who, if the were alive today, would trash their book tour hotel rooms and have scandalous, sordid affairs with their librarian groupies.

1. Lord Byron. No contest, Byron is the lead guitarist/ singer of the metaphoric rock band. It was considered an achievement for women to sleep with him- I'm not making this up. Byron was rampantl popular and feverishly admired. He had hundreds of trysts and sex partners, both men and women. At the time, there wasn't such a thing as a movie star; politicians were old and ugly, and the only famous singers were in the opera. Byron was Pitt, Kennedy, and Elvis all rolled into one. Hot. Stuff.

2. The Beat poets. Ooooh you crazy kids, you.... You crazy little kids with your drug kicks and jam sessions and your drugged-up jam sessions. Just read Ginsberg and try not to feel like you're tripping yourself. These guys were all about breaking poetic expectations, and they had the nonconformist lifestyle to back it up. Everyone wants to be Jack Kerouac.

3. F. Scott Fitzgerald. The wild parties and glitzy twenties glamour that we read about in The Great Gatsby aren't much of a stretch from Fitzgerald's actual life. He and his wife, Zelda, were straight up celebrities. They consorted with flappers and dandies, they drank champagne and they smoked cigarettes. They were written about in all the magazines and the society pages. The were the quintessential "it" couple.

4. The Crosbys. Caresse and Harry Crosby might not be the most widely read poets, but they were definitely the most scandalous. Famous as publishers of Joyce, Eliot, Hemingway and many others,their scandals include, but are not limited to: An open marriage, taking opiates, inventing the modern bra (Caresse), orgies of seven or more, exotic vacations, dabbling in eastern and ancient religions, a possible suicide pact between Harry and one of his lovers, and Caresse's subsequent marriage to a man 16 years younger than her. Whew.

5. Sapho. The very first famous lesbian. She was a brilliant writer of ancient Greece and was alllll abut the free love.

1 comment:

  1. Ah - but how can you not have placed legendary hedonists Henry Miller and Anais Nin in the top five? And is it modesty that kept you from naming your namesake Colette? Gotta admire the way she rolled...