It has finally gotten above 70 degrees in Baltimore. The air is balmy, and the trees are in bloom, so it’s a day to be giddy and frivolous.
I figured out years ago that William Faulkner’s prose went down more smoothly when consumed with a little bourbon, its natural solvent. So as you settle down in the evening with a book by a favorite author, what beverage should accompany it?
Faulkner: Bourbon and water, and not too much damn water. A good tipple with Eudora Welty as well.
Fitzgerald: Gin, of course.
Jane Austen: Madeira — a little sweeter and lighter than sherry, which would also be suitable.
Dr. Johnson: Tea. You’ll need to keep your wits about you. The doctor himself reportedly consumed 17 cups in succession during one evening of talk.
Joyce: Porter or stout, like the “dozen of stout” delivered in “Ivy Day in the Committee Room.”
Cheever: Martinis. Dry. Straight up. Also good with Edmund Wilson.
Philip Larkin: Gin again.
Barbara Pym: Claret.
Wodehouse: Brandy and soda.
Flannery O’Connor; Coffee, black.
If you want more, you’ll have to serve some yourselves. Suddenly, I’m very thirsty.