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

From: Doug Bassett (
Date: 12 Apr 2000

I think you're talking about me. I didn't say that the hb approach needs to be based in reality, but rather that it requires a realistic depiction of the world -- whatever the world is. I'm not sure which Jeter book you're talking about here -- I've only read a couple of his -- but DR. ADDER is a good example of what I mean. It's a wild world the Jeter presents, but it's presented absolutely realistically. Are you following me? (I'm not sure if I'm following me!)

--- John & Carrie <> wrote:
> 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.

Yeah. I've been thinking about this. I now think that surrealism can fit into the hb approach, but only as a kind of aside, or effect, or fillip -- whatever word you want to pick. I just don't see books that are
*primarily* surrealistic (NAKED LUNCH, FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS), however worthy, as being hardboiled. It seems to me that the hb attitude, among other things, involves a confrontation with reality.

> If I've misquoted someone, please correct me

Oh, hey, no problem. These are just my own notions on the subject -- take them for what they're worth. :)


===== Doug Bassett

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