Cigarettes Are Sublime by Richard Klein

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Synopsis

Cigarettes are bad for you; that is why they are so good. With its origins in the author’s urgent desire to stop smoking, Cigarettes Are Sublime offers a provocative look at the literary, philosophical, and cultural history of smoking. Richard Klein focuses on the dark beauty, negative pleasures, and exacting benefits attached to tobacco use and to cigarettes in particular. His appreciation of paradox and playful use of hyperbole lead the way on this aptly ambivalent romp through the cigarette in war, movies (the "Humphrey Bogart cigarette"), literature, poetry, and the reflections of Sartre to show that cigarettes are a mixed blessing, precisely sublime.
 

About Richard Klein

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Richard Klein is the author of Eat Fat (available in paperback from Vintage Books) and Cigarettes Are Sublime. He is a professor of French at Cornell University and lives in Ithaca, New York.
 
Published November 23, 1993 by Duke University Press Books. 232 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Smokers smoke not just for the nicotine, contends Klein, but also--perhaps primarily--because cigarettes offer ``a darkly beautiful, inevitably painful pleasure that arises from some intimation of eternity.'' By granting access to this sublimity- -which the author says can transform even one's re...

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Entertainment Weekly

Read Christopher Buckley's new novel, Thank You For Smoking, in a designated area, because your guffaws will waft around like secondhand smoke, and possibly annoy readers suffering through Richard Klein's interminable Cigarettes Are Sublime.

Jun 03 1994 | Read Full Review of Cigarettes Are Sublime

The Independent

As Richard Klein points out in this languorous meditation on humanity's most futile and wasteful habit, 'no one has ever liked cigarettes the first time they tried them'.

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London Review of Books

‘Writing this book in praise of cigarettes was the strategy I devised for stopping smoking, which I have – definitively;

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