We Get Older
I thought of rewriting yesterday's entry, but then thought, well, this is a journal. OK to clean things up with minor edits - trim or change a word or two, one has one's ego to protect, after all - but keep the sense (or the lack of sense) of what is essentially written, drunk or sober, against a deadline. I've now read a number of Hunter Thompson reminiscences: three alone in the Chronicle, the first two on successive front pages and innumerable others: from those posted on The Bay Guardian to some originating in places like Turkey and Australia. They evidently read Thompson in Turkey.
The essence of Thompson (for me) was his Romanticism (our age is no age for Romantics who don't carry a heavy caliber weapon), his writing (the guy could nail it with a word, build a building with a sentence) and what I must imagine was brutal courage. I too, at least in my youth, was rather fond of firearms, although, where his interests seem to have run to artillery caliber hand guns, mine have always run to early Colt Thompsons. He didn't have enough women in his writing (the Beats never had enough women in their writing), but he kept to The Code, he reminded us that The Code did and always had existed and he did it (evidently) at no small cost to his person.
I never met the man, wasn't sure most of what was reported of his life and antics weren't more literary than reality, but from what I'm reading, evidently the man actually did the drugs and the whiskey. Shit. He and Hemingway. And Neal Cassady. And - who knows? - Kesey. A lot of work, being this kind of writer. Nice to read, though. And that's all I'm really saying. He wrote at least two, maybe three books that changed writers in my generation. I understand he's had less impact on writers who've come after. It really doesn't matter. Goodbye Mr. Duke, Dr. Thompson. More and more goodbyes as we get older.