New Arrival

'It has finally come home to me that I am not going to be either the Fitzgerald or the Hemingway of this generation'

Typescript Letter, Signed ("Senor Fatback"), to his friend Paul Semonin ("Jackalope").

San Francisco: July 6 '65.

Price: $8,000.00


About the item

1 p. 4to. 'It has finally come home to me that I am not going to be either the Fitzgerald or the Hemingway of this generation'. Old folds, rubbing along the edges, uneven edge from being torn open.

Item #367615

Thompson writes to his friend Paul Semonin in Senegal, fellow Louisvillian, and member of the Athenaeum Literary Association. Semonin went to Yale and kept in touch with the younger Thompson via letters. In the early 1960s, Semonin would tag along with Thompson in the Caribbean, while Thompson was working on the manuscript of what would become The Rum Diary, and was marooned in Bermuda with him for a time. Thompson writes this letter from his infamous address at 318 Parnassus Avenue in San Francisco, which features heavily in his book Hell's Angels. It was there that he was living with his wife when he took the assignment from Carey McWilliams at The Nation to write an article about motorcycle gangs, and there that he counter-threatened the Angels with a shotgun hanging on his wall.

The letter is written in response to a piece of "Africa commentary" that Semonin had sent to McWilliams at the Nation, which was turned down due to it's length of sixty-five pages: "I assume it had merit. If not, Carey would not have mentioned it; he's that way...65 pages is suicide." Thompson then goes on to describe the personal transformations that he's gone through since he was last with Semonin (maybe in the Caribbean): "I warm [sic.] you that you are going to find me a much tougher and shittier person than the one you left in Louisville 2 years ago. I have the score now and it don't make me happy. It has finally come home to me that I am not going to be either the Fitzgerald or the Hemingway of this generation -- and for a while I was a little nervous out on my own limb. I am going to be the Thompson of this generation, and that makes me more nervous than anything else I can think of."