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The HangoverA Literary and Cultural History$
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Jonanthon Shears

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621198

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621198.001.0001

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Isolating, Placing and Contextualising the Hangover

Isolating, Placing and Contextualising the Hangover

(p.9) Chapter 1 Isolating, Placing and Contextualising the Hangover
(p.iii) The Hangover

Jonathon Shears

Liverpool University Press

This chapter identifies and isolates some of the prominent features of a hangover. It demonstrates the kind of physical phenomena that usually occupy quantitative studies of the hangover in the sciences before elaborating on the way these are linked to affect – often negative, although not exclusively – such as guilt, self-disgust and anxiety. It does this through contextualised, close literary analysis of hangover descriptions in the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tom Wolfe and Kingsley Amis. These readings demonstrate the way that hangover symptoms can both reveal and conceal larger socio-cultural concerns and how hangover consciousness is informed by the experience of transgressing social values. It also traces the etymology of the word hangover, reflecting on some of the vernacular used to describe hangovers in the early twentieth century, and introduces the Traditional-Punishment and Withdrawal-Relief responses that can disclose continuities between periods.

Keywords:   hangover, common symptoms, consciousness, guilt, shame, anxiety, vernacular

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