T Nation

Hunter S Thompson

Any comments, favourite quotes, transient thoughts on teh deceased father of “Gonzo Journalism?”

For those who haven’t heard, he killed himself over the weekend.

Not sure how to take it, he’s been kind of out of the limelight as of late, but he definitely left his mark.

Had to read “Fear and Loathing, Campaign '72” for a history class in college. Was one of those books you need to read three or four times to get your mind all the way around it.
Guy was a maniac in some ways, a genuis in others, and for some reason, I’m not really all that surprised he punched his own ticket.

Here’s a quote from Tom Wolfe’s article on Hunter S. Thompson’s life, from today’s WSJ:

"Hunter’s life, like his work, was one long barbaric yawp, to use Whitman’s term, of the drug-fueled freedom from and mockery of all conventional proprieties that began in the 1960s. In that enterprise Hunter was something entirely new, something unique in our literary history. When I included an excerpt from “The Hell’s Angels” in a 1973 anthology called “The New Journalism,” he said he wasn’t part of anybody’s group. He wrote “gonzo.” He was suigeneris. And that he was.

Yet he was also part of a century-old tradition in American letters, the tradition of Mark Twain, Artemus Ward and Petroleum V. Nasby, comic writers who mined the human comedy of a new chapter in the history of the West, namely, the American story, and wrote in a form that was part journalism and part personal memoir admixed with powers of wild invention, and wilder rhetoric inspired by the bizarre exuberance of a young civilization. No one categorization covers this new form unless it is Hunter Thompson’s own word, gonzo. If so, in the 19th century Mark Twain was king of all the gonzo-writers. In the 20th century it was Hunter Thompson, whom I would nominate as the century’s greatest comic writer in the English language."

We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine and a whole galaxy of multicolored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers…Also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls…But the only thing that bothered me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and impossible than a man in the depths of an ether binge.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson