Anorak

Anorak | Why Hunter S. Thompson typed out The Great Gatsby & A Farewell to Arms word for word

Why Hunter S. Thompson typed out The Great Gatsby & A Farewell to Arms word for word

by | 11th, June 2017

hunter s thompson great gatsby

 

Learning to write is hard. Leaning to write well is a grind. Hunter S. Thompson put in the hard yards, typing out whole pages of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. He did this “just to get the feeling,” writes Louis Menand at The New Yorker, “of what it was like to write that way.”

Johnny Depp told The Guardian:

“He’d look at each page Fitzgerald wrote, and he copied it. The entire book. And more than once. Because he wanted to know what it felt like to write a masterpiece.”

Josh Jones adds:

In a 1958 letter to his hometown girlfriend Ann Frick, Thompson named the Fitzgerald and Hemingway novels as two especially influential books, along with Brave New World, William Whyte’s The Organization Man, and Rona Jaffe’s The Best of Everything (or “Girls before Girls”), a novel that “hardly belongs in the abovementioned company,” he wrote, and which he did not, presumably, copy out on his typewriter at work. Surely, however, many a Thompson close reader has discerned the traces of Fitzgerald, Faulkner, and Hemingway in his work, particularly the latter, whose macho escapades and epic drinking bouts surely inspired more than just Thompson’s writing.

Spotter: Open Culture

 



Posted: 11th, June 2017 | In: Books, Celebrities Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink