RE: RARA-AVIS: Hunter S. Thompson (was Re: Hunter S. Thompson)

From: John & Carrie (
Date: 11 Apr 2000

James sed:

> But _Naked Lunch_ does begin in foursquare reality, with the narrator
> escaping the police on the subway. It steadily drops into the surreal from
> that point.

That's true, James, and I happen to absolutely love Naked Lunch. But I'm not certain that that intro, which is tangential to the rest of the novel
(hell, as is everything in Naked Lunch, for that matter!)doesn't make it fall within the realm of the hardboiled.

On the otherhand, I disagree with something that someone wrote (I think it may have been you when you posted a good briefing of harboiled characteristics)that hardboiled has to be based in reality (or something to that effect). K.W. Jeter's Noir is certainly not based on reality as we know it in traditional hardboiled. Yet, it's very hardboiled.

However, Jeter's Noir does in fact very surreal moments that are central to the plot. I think what makes it different from the sort of surrealism in Naked Lunch is that the whole point of Naked Lunch is surrealism, while the surreal in Noir is instead tangential to the story.

I think my view on Naked Lunch equally applies to Thompson's Fear and Loathing.

If I've misquoted someone, please correct me


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