So I glued together a bunch of the Writings and Editings photos I've been posting, and made a video. It makes my life look a bit more dynamic than it might really be, but I can live with that. But--here is some of what I've been doing (and you can do this, too).
Hunter Thompson’s most overlooked book is Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga—a reportage based on riding around with the Hell’s Angels in the mid-1960s. It’s a more-or-less pre-gonzo Thompson we find in this book, though his base/basic attitudes do come through in places, particularly toward the end of the book when he writes about the attraction of—danger. The Edge.
“The Edge…There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others—the living—are those who pushed their luck as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later.”
This quote—well, part of this quote—is the epigraph for my novella “The Incomplete,” which will be published later this year as part of my novel, Last Educations. The narrator of “The Incomplete” is a college student named Travis Smithson. Earlier in the book, one of his teachers says of him:
“Travis was one of these kids who discover Hunter Thompson or Jack Kerouac and go suddenly crazy. I had them every semester, impressionable kids who read crazy books and take the worst possible messages from them, coming up with cornball cockamamie existentialist philosophies and allegedly gonzo ways of looking at the world. Travis’s papers were full of never-ending endless continuous sentences marked with dashes and ellipses and Tom Wolfe-inspired running full colons and weird hyperbolic statements—most of which, really, I found kind of stupid. But if his writing was derivative, at least none of it was stolen.”
I suppose I was one of those kids who went suddenly crazy. But I pulled back and slowed down, etc. Though “The Incomplete” ends with Travis triumphant, he will probably slow down and pull back, too....
Anyway, I'm now working on final revisions to the novel, or I'm supposed to be, and I've been thinking about Edginess, and while piddling around on the internet I came across the wonderful website Brain Pickings, and they had a post on Thompson and the Edge, and a link to an interesting video based on the passage from Hell's Angels. All worth looking at....