May 2019 Auction Ends Thursday, May 30th, 5pm Pacific

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/30/2019
Hunter S. Thompson typed letter signed, with some of the most visceral, personal content we've seen in his letters. Dated 7 February 1962, Thompson writes three pages to his friend Paul Semonin, telling him of disturbing dreams, confusion and desperation for both money and to finish his novel. Letter reads in small part,

"…'In Brazil a gun or a knife is considered a fair weapon, and there is no dishonor in being wounded or even killed. But to hit a man with your fists is to insult him beyond remedy. He can only avenge the humiliation by killing you.' / This comes from a reliable book called Tigrero…Upon contacting the man who wrote the book - a tigre hunter in the Matto Grasso - I was advised to bring the gun into the country in a shoulder-holster because Braxil [sic] customs men do not search bodies, only luggage. And if they find a gun in your bag you are clamped. This man seemed to think it was very important that I get my gun in with me and I tend to agree…Push-off date is still about a month, but uncertain due to the fate of the novel, which will see another agent on Monday -- the first half again, 60 percent rewritten.

The pace here is accelerated almost beyond my ken…Sandy [Conklin] informs me that yesterday morning I rolled over in bed and shouted: 'All this jabberwocky and shameless talk -- I just don't know if I can get up.' This last refers to my growing inability to get out of bed before noon…Something huge is pressing on my soul. One morning last week I shouted: 'Get these dogs off me! These fucking ugly dogs!' I keep having these dreams, not unlike the DTs in their substance and urgency. Even now, sitting here at the writer, I have a feeling that my gut is a great engine, racing at top rpm, unable to shift out of neutral. Constant nerves and dealing, calling, shouting, clawing at the mailbox, forever writing letters to unknown people, tense moments during every phone call as we come to the bigmoney yes or no, the crucial hesitation, and more often than not the ugly letdown when the phone is back on its crotch.

But I am making headway and am now teetering on the brink of closing a deal with one of the airlines -- a series of 13 articles, one from each capital in S.A.…I sense a 50-50 chance in the deal and will press savagely for a win…

Still no money in my pockets, of course, and the pressure and humiliation of that is reaching the intolerable level. I am feeling like a gigolo and a hired stud. A bad feeling when it lasts. No sales in 3 months. Nothing. No work on much of anything but the novel…Am also wound up viciously with photography…leading decent salesmen down penniless alleys, coaxing information out of them…I feel they sense my money and are closing in on me, hell bent on keeping me off the S.A. thing by gobbling my funds before I can flee…

I am becoming more and more certain that this S.A. venture is my last chance to do something big and bad, come to grips with the basic wildness. Everything here is larded over with lunacy; I can no longer even read the Times without trembling. Gov. Rocky says someone is putting vinegar in NY milk and there is no mention of why. WHY? Why in the fuck? What motive. No explanation. The speaker of the NY assembly pushed a home-shelter bill through the house while he was a director of a firm building home-shelters. Now they are crucifying the man who broke the story, saying he is a dupe of the Communists. The papers go right along, dutifully recording the madness. The speaker raves and pounds the desk and winks at photographers. All this is recorded and sold on the streets. The new director of the CIA goes on record as an advocate of more and better nuclear testing. For the past 3 years this same man has been one of our chief negotiators at international disarmament conferences. No wonder we have made no progress. I tell you it is pressing me down and keeping me off balance 24 hours a day -- a friend of Sandy's is living with two men and they are constantly calling and showing up here, looking for the mail..What mail? Whose mail? I dare not say anything for fear of bursting the bag. They ask questions and I feel my gears slipping. Out! You bastards! Take all the mail except mine! Whorehoppers! I can no longer see through the fog! My name is on the mailbox, yet letters to me are 'returned to sender.' I have lost faith in the system. People say they have written me and they haven't. What can I say? How can I answer? Is the mailman a communist? How can I pin him down? Should I kill him when I get the grip, or let him go free to plague others with his tricks? It's this money hanging over me that does it. That and the novel. I must get rid of this novel and I must get that money…

As you see, I am finally on the hump and all Craziness is spread out before me…No hope but to get there and rest. Put the madness behind me. Ah, jesus, the pressure of this place, the screams of the drowners and the jackal laughter of those in the rafts.

Now, maybe I have got that screaming out of my system. Anyway, I feel better…You will always get a lot of shit from me, no matter what you say, until you become so right that I feel intimidated or so wrong that I feel repelled…

Maybe I will deduct the price of developing and printing all those shots I took of you -- and then deduct for the skill and wisdom involved -- and send you the rest. This will give you the jist of my recent thought patterns. I am turning into a jew. And all the time I've been writing this fucking letter, the rotten novel has been sitting here accusing me of sloth. I will get to it now, leaving you to stew. Send word on something. Pierce the fog. Seize the high ground and keep a tight trigger. The beast is loose and prowling everywhere. Bloodhungrily, [signed] H". Three page letter on three separate sheets measures 8.5" x 11". Folds and light toning, overall very good condition. Also with Semonin's handwriting on the verso of the second page: "Something for Thompson", a quote by Hemingway reading "It is awfully easy to be hardboiled about everything in the day time, but at night it s another thing."
Hunter S. Thompson Letter Signed With Gripping Personal Content -- ''...Ah, jesus, the pressure of this place, the screams of the drowners and the jackal laughter of those in the rafts...''Hunter S. Thompson Letter Signed With Gripping Personal Content -- ''...Ah, jesus, the pressure of this place, the screams of the drowners and the jackal laughter of those in the rafts...''Hunter S. Thompson Letter Signed With Gripping Personal Content -- ''...Ah, jesus, the pressure of this place, the screams of the drowners and the jackal laughter of those in the rafts...''Hunter S. Thompson Letter Signed With Gripping Personal Content -- ''...Ah, jesus, the pressure of this place, the screams of the drowners and the jackal laughter of those in the rafts...''
Hunter S. Thompson Letter Signed With Gripping Personal Content -- ''...Ah, jesus, the pressure of this place, the screams of the drowners and the jackal laughter of those in the rafts...''
Hunter S. Thompson Letter Signed With Gripping Personal Content -- ''...Ah, jesus, the pressure of this place, the screams of the drowners and the jackal laughter of those in the rafts...''
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Auction closed on Thursday, May 30, 2019.
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