Drinking A Love Story Analysis

Words: 442
Pages: 2

The writer at the desk is a prominent feature of addiction and recovery memoirs. In Drinking a Love Story, Carolyn Knapp, as the writer at the desk, the I, uses her current, sober state to explore the murky and muddy first person of her drinking life, the she of the book. Some of the most repeated phrases in the memoir are: “I think,” I believe,” and “maybe.” she is honest about how little of her memory can be trusted, and because of this, we trust her more. There are multiple Caroline’s in Drinking a Love Story: the intimidated daughter of an analyst, the unsatisfied and unsatisfying girlfriend, the diligent journalist, but all of these fragments, these composite characters fit, under one of two umbrellas: Caroline the drinker or Caroline the former drinker. And Caroline the former drinker doesn’t have a lot of trust in the drinking version of herself, and this fragmentation of self, the vast distance between the writer at the desk and her subject self, mirrors the fragmentation of alcoholism.
Knapp makes her problem drinking evident to the reader, and as
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Telling the truth of self is always challenging, if not impossible, but for the former alcoholic there are matchless challenges. Whole nights and chunks of time are blurred or even vanished. One of the few places where the subject and the writer converge as one is in those vanished nights. Caroline is corporeally present, but neither the writer at the desk or the subject have any idea of what events transpired, “I totally blacked out; it’s one of the few nights from which I remember literally nothing, not even five minutes.” Like the truth of addiction is told in the vast distance between the writer and her subject, these convergences showcase the power of alcoholism. Unlike delving into one’s psyche or understanding motivations through hindsight, these vanished memories cannot be