Barbara Hodgson

     "There is always a need for intoxication: [China] has opium, Islam has hashish, the West has woman.... Perhaps love is above all the means which the Occidental uses to free himself from man's fate...." - André Malraux, Man's Fate

     The exuberant French writer Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) smoked opium occasionally when in Montmartre around 1910, and quite intensely when in Nice in 1914. At this time he was besotted with Louise de Coligny-Châtillon, otherwise known as Lou, who loved him well enough, but only inside the opium den; outside of it, she appeared to have an aversion to him. Apollinaire, who wrote Lou packets of passionate and tortured love letters, was aware of her feelings: "He knew, that for her, he only existed when they smoked."