When the Words Wouldn’t Come

“I had no longer any authority over words,” Michaux writes at one point. “I no longer knew how to manage them. Farewell to writing!” And in fact there come moments in his narrative (if that’s the word for it) where Michaux forsakes writing altogether in favor of drawing, filling pages with abstract patterns of lines meant to convey qualities of an experience—particularly its nonlinearity and velocity—beyond language’s reach.

—From an essay, by Michael Pollan, about poet Henri Michaux and psychedelic drugs in the New York Times Book Review.

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