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An End To Fear And Loathing?

One of the interesting things mentioned in the documentary "Breakfast With Hunter" is that the first time Thompson used the expression "fear and loathing" was November 22, 1963. He was describing his reaction to the murder of John Kennedy.

I was curious about the reason for Thompson's suicide and curious to read more by him --having only read "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas" (and having seen the movie.) So I picked up a copy of a collection of his writings: "The Great Shark Hunt". Interestingly, in the "author's note" near the beginning (written in 1977) he offers an explanation for his suicide:

...I'd like to say, for the permanent record, that it is a very strange feeling to be a 40-year-old American writer in this century and sitting alone in this huge building on Fifth Avenue in New York at one o'clock in the morning on the night before Christmas Eve, 2000 miles from home, and compiling a table of contents for a book of my own Collected Works in an office with a tall glass door that leads out to a big terrace looking down on The Plaza Fountain.

Very strange.

I feel like I might as well be sitting up here carving the words for my own tombstone. . . and when I finish, the only fitting exit will be right straight off this fucking terrace and into The Fountain, 28 stories below and at least 200 yards out in the air and across Fifth Avenue.

Nobody could follow that act.

Not even me. . . and in fact the only way I can deal with this eerie situation at all is to make a conscious decision that I have already lived and finished the life I planned to live -- (13 years longer, in fact) -- and everything from now on will be A New Life, a different thing, a gig that ends tonight and starts tomorrow morning.

So if I decided to leap for The Fountain when I finish this memo, I want to make one thing perfectly clear -- I would genuinely love to make that leap, and if I don't I will always consider it a mistake and a failed opportunity, one of the very few serious mistakes of my First Life that is now ending... So long Hunter S. Thompson.



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