The Rum Diary Question #11 ~ Carnival

by Hunter S. Thompson

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Re: The Rum Diary Question #11 ~ Carnival

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:35 pm

I agree, deppaura. It was very well written and as the reader I definitely felt the atmosphere and as you said they hypnotic way the characters were swept up.
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Re: The Rum Diary Question #11 ~ Carnival

Unread postby Liz » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:44 pm

nebraska wrote:Wow, Dharma! :-O That all makes sense to me, but I would never have thought of that myself.

Nor would I. :-O I know there are many political statements within the story. But I had not thought of the interpersonal relationships between the characters to be allegorical. I think I need to take a second look at this book from that angle and see where it takes me.
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Re: The Rum Diary Question #11 ~ Carnival

Unread postby Liz » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:46 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:I agree, deppaura. It was very well written and as the reader I definitely felt the atmosphere and as you said they hypnotic way the characters were swept up.

Make that 3 of us. It was very well written. I could totally visualize the entire scene.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

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Re: The Rum Diary Question #11 ~ Carnival

Unread postby gemini » Sat May 01, 2010 11:32 pm

I am still thinking about Dharma's post. Like Nebraska, it never occurred to me and when I read it, it seemed far-reaching. Then I thought about it a few minutes and it makes sense from nearly all aspects. The one thing I like about it the most is that what happened to her made a lot more sense to me that way.
Now I have to wonder if it occured to Hunter.
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Re: The Rum Diary Question #11 ~ Carnival

Unread postby Liz » Sat May 01, 2010 11:58 pm

gemini wrote: Now I have to wonder if it occured to Hunter.

Not a stretch, methinks.
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Re: The Rum Diary Question #11 ~ Carnival

Unread postby deppaura » Sat May 22, 2010 12:56 am

dharma_bum wrote:
I think HST rolls out the Carnival scene in a highly choreographed way. .


Carnival!! OH BROTHER!! I searched for this all night to add to the final question!! But, it got attached to the Carnival question. So..I look forward to CARNIVAL in TRD!!

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Re: The Rum Diary Question #11 ~ Carnival

Unread postby Liz » Sat May 22, 2010 3:12 am

deppaura wrote:
dharma_bum wrote:
I think HST rolls out the Carnival scene in a highly choreographed way. .


Carnival!! OH BROTHER!! I searched for this all night to add to the final question!! But, it got attached to the Carnival question. So..I look forward to CARNIVAL in TRD!!

Well, deppaura, I have to admit, that is another scene I would like to see.
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Re: The Rum Diary Question #11 ~ Carnival

Unread postby fireflydances » Sat May 22, 2010 12:47 pm

Wow. Just came and found this incredible post by DharmaBum about the carnival scene:

I think HST rolls out the Carnival scene in a highly choreographed way. For me, the Kemp-Yeamon-Chenault triangle parallels and is a metaphor for the Americanization of Puerto Rico. Kemp’s infatuation with Chenault and Yeamon’s squandering of her culminate with the local’s “uprising” to take her back.

Oh, absolutely -- couldn't agree more. And this too-- you know how you sometimes get totally wrapped up in a character, wanting this or that for them, hanging on the edge of your seat for them? Well, somehow the characters in TRD always seem to be slightly less than 3 dimensional -- like characters in a play, briefly appearing on a stage and then exiting. So that when you read about their actions, they are emblematic, not fully fleshed out -- more symbols of something. You can't fully embrace or worry about them. You watch them and try to understand what they are pointing at.

I don't think this occurred to me when I first read the book. I saw instead less than fully realized characters and unsure whether this was due to choice or inexperience. I now believe Hunter constructed a little morality play for us -- a short slightly mysterious, slightly sardonic tour across one of the many landscapes where Americans trail in and trail out, oblivious to what they unload on the culture around them.

So, carnival -- yeah. And we are 'meant' to come away feeling frustrated and confused. Hunter builds to a peak and then, no resolution, no answer -- deliberately. I think the movie is going to do the same thing.
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Re: The Rum Diary Question #11 ~ Carnival

Unread postby Liz » Sat May 22, 2010 4:58 pm

I'm still trying to get my head around this. :-)
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Re: The Rum Diary Question #11 ~ Carnival

Unread postby fireflydances » Sat May 22, 2010 6:59 pm

Gee, didn't mean to confuse anyone.

I guess I was trying to say that, for me, TRD characters always seemed sketchily drawn. I wasn't sure why at first. But, if we chose to see this book as less about characters and more about ideas, then we can stop focusing on why this or why that.

For example, we have lots of questions about Chennault that are never answered, and it's frustrating. We want a clearer answer about why they didn't think of looking for her longer, worry about her etc. Later on it's equally murky when she leaves Kemp. If however the book is more like theater -- where characters appear and move on and we never get much more than a quick glancing picture of them -- the ambiguity of TRD makes more sense.

Perhaps the goal wasn't creating full-blown characters but rather portraits that emphasize certain ways of acting or thinking etc. So, if you follow, in the carnival scene then the characters have more symbolic meaning -- they 'represent' something. Hunter deliberately moves his chess pieces on the board of the carnival stage. Rather than focus on why we didn't learn this or that, we should be wondering instead what is the character of Chennault is trying to show us.

I hope this helps. :-O I won't feel offended; everyone's way of looking at things is different afterall.
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Re: The Rum Diary Question #11 ~ Carnival

Unread postby Liz » Sun May 23, 2010 12:56 am

You didn't confuse me, Firefly. Dharma did.

And that's not to say I think she or you are incorrect. In fact, just the opposite. It makes a lot of sense, considering it's Hunter we're talking about here.....Gonzo journalism and all, not to mention his politicism.

I'm just trying to adjust to looking at this book in a totally different way than I had before....trying to analyze all of its different characters and scenes from a different angle. And it's a rather daunting task.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: The Rum Diary Question #11 ~ Carnival

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed May 26, 2010 9:04 pm

Daunting but very thought provoking. That's why I love these discussions and why there are no right answers! :cool:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Re: The Rum Diary Question #11 ~ Carnival

Unread postby deppaura » Thu May 27, 2010 3:57 pm

Boy, it is at these times in our discussions I wish we had the author to check in with. To share our concepts and hopefully yay or nay our interpretations. I remember with Attica, Garry Kilworth responded to some of our ideas. And, in some cases, seemed quite surprised!! At this point I kind of feel :-) I can't help wondering if I read the same book.

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Re: The Rum Diary Question #11 ~ Carnival

Unread postby Liz » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:22 am

I know how you feel, deppaura. And it is really frustrating when the author is no longer with us.

Maybe the next best thing would be Johnny? Here's hoping that the press junkets will answer our questions or the DVD extras.
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Re: The Rum Diary Question #11 ~ Carnival

Unread postby fansmom » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:34 pm

deppaura wrote:Boy, it is at these times in our discussions I wish we had the author to check in with. To share our concepts and hopefully yay or nay our interpretations. I remember with Attica, Garry Kilworth responded to some of our ideas. And, in some cases, seemed quite surprised!!
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