Hunter Question #4 - All 3

by Edgar Allen Poe, William Saroyan, Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson

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Hunter Question #4 - All 3

Unread postby Liz » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:22 pm

Compare these three pieces from 1961.

How do they compare to later works of Hunters (and if you have read it, The Rum Diary)?
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Re: Hunter Question #4 - All 3

Unread postby ladylinn » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:25 pm

I found the 3 pieces from Hunter quite different from his later works. In "Burial At Sea" he is writing a story of other people with no personal involvement. With "Big Sur" it is different - to me it seems as if he is trying to find a place to fit in. There seems to be alot of negative feelings coming through. In "New York Bluegrass" it seemed to spark a feeling from his roots. The Greenbriar Boys reminded him of his Kentucky beginnings.

I must ask the meaning of the last statement referring to Pogo. I just didn't get it!??

I have read "The Rum Diary" and find it quite different from the 3 pieces you brought to us. In TRD Hunter has found himself and is quite comfortable in his "own skin".

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Re: Hunter Question #4 - All 3

Unread postby shadowydog » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:33 pm

Ladylinn, I would guess he was referring to the Pogo comic strip that was very popular way back then. Not sure a lot of the younger members in here would have heard of it.

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Re: Hunter Question #4 - All 3

Unread postby ladylinn » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:44 pm

Thanks shadowydog - I do remember the comic strip Pogo. Just couldn't get the connection. Maybe trying to read too much into a statement!!!

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Re: Hunter Question #4 - All 3

Unread postby nebraska » Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:58 pm

I hope this makes sense to somebody - I know what I mean but I am not sure I can explain it. :banghead:

I thought the piece about Big Sur and the last one about the Bluegrass music were a little more like proper editorial journalism. Even though he was expressing a personal opinion he was writing in a more conventional style. I think his letters are like that. Although I have only read bits and pieces of his collections of letters they read more like a well-educated and deep-thinking man who isn't quite so content on total rebellion.

With Burial At Sea, when we start getting into his fiction, I see more of the Hunter's later raw and real style. The physical descriptions of the characters, the male/female animal attraction, infidelity, brutality, all of that sort of thing. It reminds me a bit more of the seediness in parts of the Rum Diary. Later, Fear and Loathing went further down that path, with a haze of addiction thrown in to make the writing less coherent according to rules of proper grammar and journalism, but the selections we read here were the beginnings of his Gonzo style.

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Re: Hunter Question #4 - All 3

Unread postby shadowydog » Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:03 pm

nebraska wrote:I hope this makes sense to somebody - I know what I mean but I am not sure I can explain it. :banghead:

I thought the piece about Big Sur and the last one about the Bluegrass music were a little more like proper editorial journalism. Even though he was expressing a personal opinion he was writing in a more conventional style. I think his letters are like that. Although I have only read bits and pieces of his collections of letters they read more like a well-educated and deep-thinking man who isn't quite so content on total rebellion.

With Burial At Sea, when we start getting into his fiction, I see more of the Hunter's later raw and real style. The physical descriptions of the characters, the male/female animal attraction, infidelity, brutality, all of that sort of thing. It reminds me a bit more of the seediness in parts of the Rum Diary. Later, Fear and Loathing went further down that path, with a haze of addiction thrown in to make the writing less coherent according to rules of proper grammar and journalism, but the selections we read here were the beginnings of his Gonzo style.


Makes perfect sense to me. I saw those two pieces as early attempts at the gonzo journalism that he later became famous for. :cool:
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Re: Hunter Question #4 - All 3

Unread postby Liz » Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:37 pm

shadowydog wrote:
nebraska wrote:I hope this makes sense to somebody - I know what I mean but I am not sure I can explain it. :banghead:

I thought the piece about Big Sur and the last one about the Bluegrass music were a little more like proper editorial journalism. Even though he was expressing a personal opinion he was writing in a more conventional style. I think his letters are like that. Although I have only read bits and pieces of his collections of letters they read more like a well-educated and deep-thinking man who isn't quite so content on total rebellion.

With Burial At Sea, when we start getting into his fiction, I see more of the Hunter's later raw and real style. The physical descriptions of the characters, the male/female animal attraction, infidelity, brutality, all of that sort of thing. It reminds me a bit more of the seediness in parts of the Rum Diary. Later, Fear and Loathing went further down that path, with a haze of addiction thrown in to make the writing less coherent according to rules of proper grammar and journalism, but the selections we read here were the beginnings of his Gonzo style.


Makes perfect sense to me. I saw those two pieces as early attempts at the gonzo journalism that he later became famous for. :cool:


I concur. I saw them that way also.....esp. Big Sur. They were more journalistic in nature--opinion pieces, as it were. Burial at Sea seemed more like TRD to me, both being stories, not opinion pieces. In fact, tonight I'm wondering if the seeds of TRD came out of that piece. I found TRD to be written much better, though. The basic storyline was there in '61; but he didn't complete it until '98.
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Re: Hunter Question #4 - All 3

Unread postby deppaura » Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:40 pm

While I'm not a Hunter expert..read Hells Angels, Fear and Loathing and TRD...My thoughts have already been expressed. Or my impressions. Big Sur..Blue Grass..journalistic..Burial..starting to develop "novel" style. Thanks, all..OOPS, looks as though Liz and I were posting about the same time!

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Re: Hunter Question #4 - All 3

Unread postby gemini » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:24 pm

I would agree with what everyone had said. These 3 writings were something written maybe for a magazine article, even the short story. Big Sur read somewhat like one of his articles where he was covering a sporting event but it was a tourist spot instead. I have read Rum Diary but it's been awhile, I need to read it again before we get to it for a book discussion. Rum Diary and Fear and Loathing and Hells Angels were written more as novels and Hunter seems to write about his experiences and things he knows so he becomes a character. Now that I think of it, the sporting articles I've read are about his escapades as well. This short story is the only thing I've read that seems pure fiction without personal experiences in it. (At least as far as we know.)
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Re: Hunter Question #4 - All 3

Unread postby Buster » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:59 pm

Hunter was, first and foremost, a journalist. (So, by the way, was Mark Twain - There are some pretty interesting parallels - Check out Twain's Roughing It.)

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Re: Hunter Question #4 - All 3

Unread postby Liz » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:19 pm

Buster wrote:Hunter was, first and foremost, a journalist. (So, by the way, was Mark Twain - There are some pretty interesting parallels - Check out Twain's Roughing It.)

So a memoir more than a story? "Rough hewn humor" was one of the descriptions I read.
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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