Martinis, Vinegar: Famed Writers' Favorite Snacks
Authors look to everything from sherry to popsicles for inspiration
By Sarah Whitmire, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2011 12:59 PM CDT
After a cup of coffee, mint tea, and sherry, Truman Capote liked a martini while he wrote.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Some of history's greatest writers have relied on "food for thought." For Truman Capote, a daily regimen of coffee, tea, sherry, and martinis was his path to creative greatness. Others kept it simpler: Marcel Proust relied on espresso, while Jesus Land author Julia Scheeres swears by the ultimate motivator: starvation. In the New York Times, illustrator Wendy MacNaughton reveals the favored snacks of these and other writers:

  • Walt Whitman: The poet enjoyed a high-protein breakfast of oysters and meat before writing.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald: This disillusioned novelist was known to snack on canned meat and apples—far more humble fare than his Great Gatsby characters enjoyed.
  • Joyce Maynard: After she finishes a bit of writing, this author likes to have a lime popsicle while she reads over her work.
  • Emily Dickinson: This tortured poet had a knack for baking prize-winning bread, so obviously, it was her fare of choice.
  • Lord Byron: This English romanticist, who "had eating issues," MacNaughton notes, sipped plain vinegar as an appetite suppressant.
Take a look at the rest of MacNaughton's comical illustration here.

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Showing 3 of 5 comments
Aug 1, 2011 3:23 PM CDT
The food factor should always be massive: four Bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crepes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon, or corned beef hash with diced chiles, a Spanish omelette or eggs Benedict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for random seasoning, and something like a slice of Key lime pie, two margaritas, and six lines of the best cocaine for dessert. Breakfast for Hunter S Thompson Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - The Great American Novel
Aug 1, 2011 3:00 PM CDT
"Marcel Proust relied on espresso," Proust was a bad asthmatic - I believe it was in the New Yorker that I once read his writing style was reminiscent of an asthmatic's breathing pattern. Caffeine is related to a modern day antiasthma drug, and was likely prescribed by his physicians.
Aug 1, 2011 1:06 PM CDT
I like a dry martini with three olives....shaken not stirred....and a big bong load of Marijuana.