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 Post subject: F&LILV Question #15 ~ Thompson and Twain
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:37 am 
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This is an excerpt from an interview Anita Thompson gave just before the recent memorial service for Hunter.

“Twain, Anita Thompson said, was a favorite among favorites for Hunter Thompson. She noted that early in his career Twain was akin to an outlaw writer - how Thompson referred to himself - because of Twain's groundbreaking style.

In the search for the right word, Hunter Thompson found this quote from Twain: ‘The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the difference between lightning and lightning bug."


Do you see any similarities between Thompson and Twain? Can you point to a place in the book where Hunter found the right word and not the “nearly right word”?



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 10:03 am 
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Oh no, now I've got to add yet more books to the pile - I've never read any Twain :banghead: (probably too American for my English literature classes at school :lol: )

I love the bit about the right word and the nearly right word though. I'm gonna go scour my copy of FALILV.



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:26 pm 
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I haven't finished my coffee this morning so all I am going to add right quick is that Mark Twain's quotes will tell you alot about his attitude and outlawness..... he was famous and outspoken about the government and politics.

ok back to the Coffee!

Raven



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John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester in The Libertine by Stephen Jeffreys
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:43 pm 
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Someone emailed me and asked for a clarification on the second part of the question so I figured if one person had a question others might as well. What I am getting at is can you find a place in the book where Hunter finds exactly the right word to describe someone, something or a situation? Not nearly the right word, but exactly the right word?



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:47 pm 
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Tough question, DITHOT! Like I didn't know that before. :grin:

I imagine that there are a number of ways to go with this. A perfect word to me is one that gets a response out of me like an "aha" moment. There were a few of those in F&LILV. I also think a perfect word could be one that you think is a the perfect word to describe something. I'm going to go with the "aha" words.

The Wave Speech was riddled with them. BUT I'm going to leave it at that because I want to table it until our Wave Speech in a few days. Two of the words I'm going to give were also in the Wave Speech, but I will show examples in other parts of the book.


Meaning or Meant. He used that word or a form thereof at least twice in the story. Thus, I think it is key. Pg. 8. "And it was extremely important, I felt, for the meaning of our journey to be made absolutely clear."

Madness. This word was also used at least twice. Pg. 46. "This madness goes on and on, but nobody seems to notice."

Maintain. Pg. 5. "How long can we maintain?" I think it is a perfect word because it seems to relay the struggle that Duke has between the urge to take drugs and ultimate goal for heading to Vegas.

I just noticed they are all "m" words.
:eyebrow:

Edit: I just noticed DITHOT's clarification has been posted. But I spent so much time on this post that I'm going to post it anyway. :lol:



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:53 pm 
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Raven wrote:
I haven't finished my coffee this morning so all I am going to add right quick is that Mark Twain's quotes will tell you alot about his attitude and outlawness..... he was famous and outspoken about the government and politics.

ok back to the Coffee!

Raven


Thank you, Raven, for a little insight into Mark Twain. I am anxious to read responses from those who know Twain because it's been years since I've read him and didn't much like the one book I read. Wasn't one of his books banned from libraries or schools not too long ago?



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 1:18 pm 
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Mark Twain banned???? Perish the thought! Although, given the era during which he wrote, I expect the books aren't as politically correct as they could be (and neither are Hunter's), but I think Twain's heart was in the right place. I loved every Mark Twain book I ever read. He was witty and subversive and unique - not unlike Hunter.



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 1:28 pm 
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Liz wrote:
Wasn't one of his books banned from libraries or schools not too long ago?
Sad to say, Liz, that Twain's books are continually being banned in schools. Sometimes it's for the language ( especially the "N" word), and sometimes it's because they poke fun at authority.

No similarities to Hunter there, right? :eyebrow:

I don't have my copy of F&L with me, so I can't comment on the "right word" question, but in terms of themes, I'd have to say that that satirical disrespect for established authority certainly is a link between Hunter and Twain. Twain delighted in skewering human nature. He also spent the last years of his life in what we'd consider a depressed state, saddened by deaths in his family, and yearning for death for himself.

Both Twain and Hunter make me laugh aloud.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 1:31 pm 
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here is a site to find out about Twain:

http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/railton/o ... agehp.html

check out one of his speechs:

The (New York) Evening Post
23 December 1882

The New England Society. Last Night's Dinner--The Speeches.

The seventy-seventh annual dinner of the New England Society took place at Delmonicos last evening. Josiah M. Fiske presided and about two hundred and fifty guests were present, including many prominent persons. After dinner Mr. Fiske called the company to order and Mr. Choate replied to the first toast, Forefathers Day, in his usual happy style.


[Other speeches deleted]

Mark Twain next spoke on Woman, and kept the tables in a roar by comparing the dress fashions prevailing among savages and the belles of modern society to the disadvantage of the latter. In the course of his remarks, he said: Among the Fans, a great negro tribe, a woman when dressed for home, or to go to market, or to go out calling, does not wear anything at all but just her complexion. That is all; that is her entire outfit. It is the lightest costume in the world, but is made of the darkest material. It has often been mistaken for mourning. It is the trimmest, and neatest, and gracefulest costume that is now in fashion; it wears well, is fast colors, doesnt show dirt. You dont have to send it down town to wash and have some of it come back scorched with the flatiron, and some of it with the buttons ironed off, and some of it petrified with starch, and some of it chewed by the calf, and some of it exchanged for other customers things that havent any virtue but holiness, and ten-twelfths of the pieces overcharged for, and the rest of the dozen mislaid. And it always fits; it is the perfection of a fit. And it is the handiest dress in the whole realm of fashion. It is always ready, always done up. When you call on a Fan lady and send up your card, the hired girl never says: Please take a seat; Madame is dressing--she will be down in three-quarters of an hour. No, Madame is always ready dressed, always ready to receive: and before you can get the door mat before your eyes she is in you midst. Then, again, the Fan ladies dont go to church to see what each other has got on; and they dont go back home and describe it and slander it. Such is the dark child of savagery as to every-day toilet, and thus, curiously enough, she finds a point of contact with the fair daughter of civilization and high fashion--who often has nothing to wear--and thus these widely-separated types of the sex meet upon common ground. Yes; such is the Fan-woman, as she appears in her simple, unostentatious every-day toilet. But on state occasions she is more dressy. At a banquet she wears bracelets; at a lecture she wears earrings and a belt; at a ball she wears stockings, and, with true feminine fondness for display, she wears them on her arms; at a funeral she wears a jacket of tar and ashes; at a wedding the bride who can afford it puts on pantaloons. Thus the dark child of savagery and the fair daughter of civilization meet once more upon common ground, and these two touches of nature make their whole world kin.



http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/railton/o ... man82.html



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"In my experience, those who do not like you fall into two categories: the stupid
and the envious."
John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester in The Libertine by Stephen Jeffreys
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 1:33 pm 
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fansmom wrote:
Liz wrote:
Wasn't one of his books banned from libraries or schools not too long ago?
Sad to say, Liz, that Twain's books are continually being banned in schools. Sometimes it's for the language ( especially the "N" word), and sometimes it's because they poke fun at authority.



Well, that IS sad. I figured the "N" word might be a problem, but as for the rest of it - well, that's just pathetic, isn't it?



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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 2:31 pm 
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lumineuse wrote:
fansmom wrote:
Liz wrote:
Wasn't one of his books banned from libraries or schools not too long ago?
Sad to say, Liz, that Twain's books are continually being banned in schools. Sometimes it's for the language ( especially the "N" word), and sometimes it's because they poke fun at authority.



Well, that IS sad. I figured the "N" word might be a problem, but as for the rest of it - well, that's just pathetic, isn't it?


Pretty much so. :banghead:



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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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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 2:36 pm 
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Thanks for the info, Raven. :-O :biglaugh:



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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 2:37 pm 
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A bit that always jumps off the page at me is
"Kill the body and the head will die."

He references boxer Joe Frazier. I'm not interested in boxing in the least. But this passage prompted me to look into it anyway. Frazier defeated Ali, one of Hunter's heros, in a 1971 fight. As soon as the boxers had signed to fight, the pre-match verbal fighting began. Frazier mocked Ali for his consciensious objection to the draft for the Vietnam war. Frazier said, "A white lawyer kept him out of jail. And he's going to Uncle Tom me," THEE Greatest, he called himself. Well, he wasn't The Greatest, and he certainly wasn't THEE Greatest. . . . It became my mission to show him the error of his foolish pride. Beat it into him."

Hunter talks about Ali's defeat as though it was yet another disillusioning element to the end of the 60's. Ali's boxing was like dancing - graceful, artful, intelligent. Frazier was all brawn and aggression. Much of what I read about him paints him to have been just plain mean. Hunter wrote, "Joe Frazier, like Nixon, had finally prevailed for reasons that people like me refused to understand - at least not outloud."

I think the reference to the fight is a metaphor for the Vietnam war and for the essence of F&L as well. Thinking and civility vs. Mindless, morally corrupt, brutish "progression". The phrase reminds me of the anti-war protests that resulted in violent police aggression - as if "killing" the body (the protests) would result in killing the mind (the pacifist ideology that the protests were based on.)

There is an awful lot of meaning in those 8 words. Just as Hunter revered F. Scott Fitzgerald for his economy of words, he succeeded in doing the same to convey his meaning eloquently. These words are perfect. Sorry to go on and on. :blush:



_________________________________________________________
"A man must funtion in a pattern of his own choosing. For to let another man define your own goals is to give up one of the most meaningful aspects of life - The definitive act of will, which makes a man an individual. "
- Hunter S. Thompson
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 3:19 pm 

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Regarding similarities between Hunter and Mark Twain, I found the following quotes attributed to Twain.



"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."

* "The citizen who sees his society's democratic clothes being worn out and does not cry out is not a patriot but a traitor."

"In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man; brave, hated, and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."

* "Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul."

"It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either."

"I have no race prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. All I care to know is that a man is a human being, and that is enough for me; he can't be any worse."


http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Mark_Twain


While researching the above, I found the following quote from another of JD’s favorite writers, Howard Zinn, about Mark Twain .

A Kinder, Gentler Patriotism

by Howard Zinn
Mark Twain, having been called a "traitor" for criticizing the U.S. invasion of the Philippines, derided what he called "monarchical patriotism." He said: "The gospel of the monarchical patriotism is: 'The King can do no wrong.' We have adopted it with all its servility, with an unimportant change in the wording: 'Our country, right or wrong!' We have thrown away the most valuable asset we had: the individual's right to oppose both flag and country when he believed them to be in the wrong. We have thrown it away; and with it all that was really respectable about that grotesque and laughable word, Patriotism."

Published on Sunday, April 13, 2003 by the Long Island, NY Newsday



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"We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become." -Ursula Le Guin
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 3:27 pm 
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nice work Abigail and Naomi!!

can't google enough if you ask me!


Raven



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"In my experience, those who do not like you fall into two categories: the stupid
and the envious."
John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester in The Libertine by Stephen Jeffreys
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