Arthur Symons pictures the opium smoker as a kind of living Egyptian mummy, subjectively swathed in cerements and wrapped in a wondrous and timeless night.
'A Eunuch's Dream,' detail, by Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Nouÿ, 1874. Via Wikimedia Commons
EDITED BY JOSEPH BOTTUM
Mr. Bottum is the author of eight books, including An Anxious Age and The Decline of the Novel. Director of the Classics Institute at Dakota State University, he has written over 800 essays, poems, reviews, and short stories in publications from the Atlantic to the Washington Post. His poetry collections include The Fall & Other Poems and The Second Spring, and he has received a 2019 Christopher Medal for his poetry in the year’s best children’s book. He lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Commenting is available to Sun Readers , Sun Members and Sun Founders only. Comments are reviewed and, in some cases, edited before posting. Chances of a comment being posted are increased if the comment is polite, accurate, grammatical, and substantive or newsworthy.
© 2022 The New York Sun Company, LLC. All rights reserved.