The Many Shimmering Colors Of Hunter S. Thompson


I look at HST’s writings and marvel at many of it qualities, but above all, how his motifs and counter motifs moved symphonically, at high speed, and totally against expectation. As far as I can tell he wasn’t even using the metrics of Anglican languages. The embedded rhythms and simultaneous varying time signatures remind me, if anything, of West African music.

I got a chance to tell Mr. Thompson, via letter correspondence and telephone, that I thought he was the most original American writer of the past century.

Here’s something he wrote about gun control. Except notice how far afield from mere “gun control” it moves, and how fast. The man was never boring–always hilarious, always the voice of the writer alone in his  mind–unable to replicate the mass feelings, phrases, conclusions, or platitudes of anybody around him. Hunter was clearly on the “left,” but among his many contradictions: He was an open gun enthusiast and frequently dressed in the American Flag and not much else.

“…the membership hears nothing but bells when the NRA is “attacked.”

I love him for his refusal to trod out easy, chewed, pious positions. Healthy incivism against government, media and “counterculture,” alike.  A writer should never become a billboard for contemporary political fashions.

His word for himself was “freak.” What might he write, today, were he alive? Would have loathed Trump. But would have helped us see under many surfaces, penetrate many “ostensibles.”

In my interactions with him he was a perfect  gentleman.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.