And now comes John Barleycorn with the curse he lays upon the imaginative man who is lusty with life and desire to live. John Barleycorn will not let the dreamer dream, the liver live. God is bad, truth is a cheat, and life is a joke. From his calm-mad heights, with the certitude of a god, he beholds all life as evil. Wife, children, friends – in the clear white light of his logic, they are exposed as frauds and shams. He sees their frailty, their meagerness, their sordidness, their pitifulness. And he knows his one freedom: he may anticipate the day of his death – suicide, quick or slow, a sudden spill or a gradual oozing away through the years, is the price John Barleycorn exacts.
(From Jack London’s John Barleycorn: Alcoholic Memoirs)