Louis MacNeice observed that the residents of 7 Middagh Street were "ever so bohemian, raiding the icebox at midnight and eating the catfood by mistake." Was this eccentric, highly tolerant, and often chaotic environment a necessary part of the creative equation? What might the ideal conditions be for writing a novel or composing music — a routine, quiet life, as Gustave Flaubert suggested, or a life open to all of life's random elements and occurrences? Which kinds of conditions do you find best facilitate your own creative work?
Paul Bowles traced his wife Jane's increased alcohol consumption and, following Auden's example, her use of Benzedrine tablets to her stay at 7 Middagh. Years earlier, it was George Davis who introduced Auden to the stimulants in the first place. Do you see a pattern of drug and alcohol abuse in the house? What role did it play in setting the stage for the creative synergy that characterized the experiment? How would the house have been different without these substances? To what degree did they lead to the end of the communal living experiment?
Carson felt that she could tell Gypsy anything, so of course she did.
He found it too painful, he said, to witness Carson's self-destruction through drinking and George's dangerous adventures among the bars and brothels of Sands Street.