Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

How could one categorize Hunter S. Thompson’s texts? Are they cases of journalism? Are they autobiographies? Could they be considered roman à clef novels?

Given Thompson’s perspective, style, and reporter’s stance (or lack there of), how could one characterize his construction of Gonzo Journalism, his version of New Journalism?

Considering Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72, how does Thompson characterize the American media? Nixon’s administration? The Democratic Party since 1968? George McGovern? What are his primary concerns, complaints, and advocacies of any of the aforementioned?

What does one make of Thompson’s quest for the American Dream (and its subsequent abandonment) in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas? How does that play into the worldview that Thompson seeks to construct in the text?

The drug culture of the 1960’s and 1970’s is prominently featured and critiqued in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. How does it function as an operating discourse in the text’s narrative construction?

Where does Thompson fit in as a character within his own works (particularly in the supposed instances where the text’s editors intervene and can only produce verbal transcriptions of interviews or tape recordings)? How does this comment on his analysis of the American publishing machine?