Rum Diary Question #21 ~ The Ending

by Hunter S. Thompson

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Liz
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Rum Diary Question #21 ~ The Ending

Unread postby Liz » Sun May 09, 2010 1:29 pm

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Sala called for more drink and Sweep brought four rums, saying they were on the house. We thanked him and sat for another half hour, saying nothing. Down on the waterfront I could hear the slow clang of a ship’s bell as it eased against the pier, and somewhere in the city a motorcycle roared through the narrow streets, sending its echo up the hill to Calle O’Leary. Voices rose and fell in the house next door and the raucous sound of a jukebox came from a bar down the street. Sounds of a San Juan night, drifting across the city through layers of humid air; sounds of life and movement, people getting ready and people giving up, the sound of hope and the sound of hanging on, and behind them all, the quiet, deadly ticking of a thousand hungry clocks, the lonely sound of time passing in the long Caribbean night.

What does this last passage mean?


And I'd like to add a Happy Mother's Day from me & DITHOT to all of you moms, whether it be to people or to other creatures.
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The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: Rum Diary Question #21 ~ The Ending

Unread postby nebraska » Sun May 09, 2010 8:02 pm

what, no answers? :-O I thought somebody would have figured this one out.........I really don't know. Maybe that time goes by too fast with nothing changing?

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Re: Rum Diary Question #21 ~ The Ending

Unread postby deppaura » Sun May 09, 2010 8:17 pm

Another fatalist statement from Hunter? A bit of morbidity. Life so busy, so full of itself moving on towards an inevitable end.

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Re: Rum Diary Question #21 ~ The Ending

Unread postby shadowydog » Sun May 09, 2010 8:20 pm

Or that what is so important in your little world is unknown to the larger world and matters not a whit to them?
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Re: Rum Diary Question #21 ~ The Ending

Unread postby Liz » Sun May 09, 2010 8:26 pm

deppaura wrote:Another fatalist statement from Hunter? A bit of morbidity. Life so busy, so full of itself moving on towards an inevitable end.

Makes sense to me. And so busy that nothing ever changes. "people getting ready and people giving up, the sound of hope and the sound of hanging on," People with hope, others giving up because nothing ever changes. Complacency and fear. Hunter didn't like that trait in people. I act like I know him. But I say that based on an interesting You Tube video I listened to this morning where he talks about how the press handled 911.

[youtube]lVT2tAV_66k[/youtube]

I was also wondering if it was a tie-in to the other coment about the old magnetic clocks on the wall in high school classrooms.
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: Rum Diary Question #21 ~ The Ending

Unread postby gemini » Sun May 09, 2010 8:59 pm

Yep I agree. Life goes on whether your are part of it or not. Puerto Rico would go on the same after they were gone.
Interesting video Liz. This was after the Bush Gore 2000 election and 9-11. I have heard that he was much more negative after the Bush 2004 election.
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Re: Rum Diary Question #21 ~ The Ending

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon May 10, 2010 12:00 pm

Have any of you seen Breakfast With Hunter? I believe it is in that film where he reads that last paragraph. Listening to read it is a treat. It is very lyrical and rhythmic almost wistful.
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: Rum Diary Question #21 ~ The Ending

Unread postby geri » Mon May 10, 2010 3:43 pm

Yes ... I think it means -- life goes on with little change, no matter what. Same happenings, different day.

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Re: Rum Diary Question #21 ~ The Ending

Unread postby stroch » Mon May 10, 2010 7:34 pm

I thought that he was talking about a person's inevitable isolation. Kemp and the other characters in the book were fundamentally alone. Despite their relationships, no one was really intimate with anyone else, or safe with anyone else. I think the ending emphasized the individual's lonliness amid the hubbub of daily life, and echoed the themes of lost opportunities and emptiness. The Caribbean seems like paradise to outsiders, but to Kemp, it is oppressive.
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Re: Rum Diary Question #21 ~ The Ending

Unread postby deppaura » Mon May 10, 2010 9:44 pm

Hunter's brilliant observations depressed him. Seems to be true for many gifted sensitive artists. They become saddened.

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Re: Rum Diary Question #21 ~ The Ending

Unread postby Buster » Mon May 10, 2010 9:50 pm

The phrase from DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
almost wistful.

summed it up for me. The feelings of nostalgia for a place he was about to leave, all the good and bad rolled into a moment transfixed in time - I think the passage is almost bittersweet.

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Re: Rum Diary Question #21 ~ The Ending

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue May 11, 2010 12:13 am

Bittersweet is a good word too, Buster.
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: Rum Diary Question #21 ~ The Ending

Unread postby Liz » Tue May 11, 2010 12:55 am

So is it his wisfulness for the place and his grief at leaving or was it too oppressive for him?

I can totally relate to his wistfulness. I go through that whenever I have to go home from a vacation in paradise.

Maybe it was because he saw how the typical Puerto Rican or the expatriot lived. Living in a place is much different than vacationing there.
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: Rum Diary Question #21 ~ The Ending

Unread postby Buster » Tue May 11, 2010 8:07 am

The quote reminded me of a time when I left a place far from where I live now. It was time for me to leave, I needed to go; that part of my life was finished. The place is still there, life still goes on - but I left a piece of myself there, and took a piece of the place with me.

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Re: Rum Diary Question #21 ~ The Ending

Unread postby ladylinn » Tue May 11, 2010 4:19 pm

I really liked this last paragraph - it tells me that no matter where you are or what you do - after you are gone the world keeps on going.


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