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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/30/2020
Amazing Hunter S. Thompson typed letter signed ''Zapata'', with additional autograph note, and some handwritten edits throughout. Epic four-page letter reads like a short story, with descriptive observations that illuminate why Thompson became one of the 20th century's most important writers. Dated 12 October (1964), Thompson writes in small part, ''Ah yes. After a long illness. Drink and TV football. Sudden, senseless boozings in this rollercoaster fog. A land of the dead and dying, the desperate fat and fanatically fit, icepick smiles above wooden tits, the dull end of a bad dream. I seem to be cutting myself off from everything I ever did or knew; I meet new people who seem pleasant enough but something in me is dying from lack of contact...I have a feeling these days that I am getting closer to the wisdom but no closer to any answers. I think that is what makes me nervous and half the time desperate...I look back on Puerto Rico and Bermuda and the Western Trek, which ended that era, and I wonder how much smarter either one of us has become since then. Wiser, perhaps -- or 'more mature,' in the argot of the whipped -- but not much smarter...Like I said, we are in a real tough ballgame, a goddamn dirty little struggle where a bright eye is no more than a target for a world full of unwitting fists. They tell women never to wear bracelets or jewelry in the shark waters because the cowardly shits have such bad eyes that they'll go for anything that glitters, and kill it out of pique or stupid hunger...

The shits are killing us and that's the world's oldest story. The gimmick is to survive, with or without publicity. The secret is in believing your own bullshit -- or believing what's behind it, at any rate, and having the simple balls to keep believing. I think I might have a go at the bible, see what those people meant when they talked about Faith. Faith in what? So what? Just faith. In God, Grapefruit or the Final Orgasm with the Queen of the Jews...The question now is whether we were the young punks and eventual phoneys they took us for...''

Thompson then tells Semonin that he heard a rumor that Semonin slept with the wife of a mutual friend, ''Your letter was the usual mass of lies, ignorance and innuendo. I just read it again...You devious red muthorfuckor [sic]. I know better than to take your garbage seriously. I heard about you and Bibb's wife in the pantry and now I see you're after that Cobian woman too. Don't come around here you godless creep. I may be sick and sitting on a split chair but goddamn if I don't know the socre. [sic]...''

Thompson then pivots to politics including California's Proposition 14, which would nullify the state's recently passed Fair Housing Act: ''...the realtors have taken another tack -- they put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that, if it passes, will pretty well put the nigger down in the ditch for good. Right now it's about 50-50. There is no time for theorizing out here; the fatbellies are taking direct action. CORE wins battles, but the war is still a standoff. This action. This 'Proposition 14' would make California unfit for any minority group to live in. The situation is so tense that Pat Brown had to go to NY and seek funds from the Liberal establishment. I can't vote, but Sandy and I went down to the Hq Sunday and addressed envelopes...

The real answers will never be published. This civil rights stuff is not it. Politics is not it. Actually I don't mind not being able to vote because it spares me the degradation of voting for Johnson. The truth is not in him; it's like Ching running for president. Maybe the Pope has the answer. Or maybe Mao. Those are the real antagonists. Goldwater's campaign is pathetic; he's nearly as silly as Eisenhower. Nixon makes him look like a punk. I honestly don't give a damn. This is the first campaign in memory where I've been able to sit back and see the farce for what it is. I think we need a Jew for president. Even Mailer. But I think he died. His name is gone from the public prints. Even Malcomm [sic] X has lost his zip. I saw Ginsburg on TV the other night and was pleasantly surprised. He's bigger than I thought. Leroi Jones struck me as Harlem's answer to Ringo Starr. He's a phoney, a punk gone mad in the limelight. The type you'd expect to find in the White Horse, bumming drinks...

Fleeing the country may indeed be the answer, but where to flee?...I think I'd be haunted if I fled for good, haunted by the severed tentacles of a past and a dubious birthright that can never admit that a fugitive might be right. It's easy for a stupid or an ignorant man to flee this country -- look at all the sergeants who re-enlist to stay on Okinawa -- but the more a man understands this place and what it might have been, the more courage and higher understanding he needs to seriously leave it and go somewhere else...

But now we're back to the basic futility of anarchy again, eh?...I'm not against systems, but they're sure as hell against me so what choice do I have? Mao would lock me up as fast as Goldwater would put me out to die of exposure. The natural enemy of any anarchist is fascism; when the big whistle blows I'll go against the jackboots and the fatbellies and if it ever comes to that final division I figure I'll be as much surprised by my allies as by my enemies...

I said earlier there was nothing I want to write, but that's not true. This is the first time in a year that I've really thought about what I was saying, and this jangled result is proof enough of my deprivation and decay. I want to write about how it is...You are one of the few crucibles I have left. A decent dialogue is nearly as sane as building something worth building...''

Thompson then continues the letter the next morning, writing that he's planning a trip to New York and then Louisville over Christmas. He then ponders whether a ROTC friend ''should be killed'' before writing, ''My theory these days is that fiction and reality are united by one main theme: man's universal suspicion that somebody is fucking his wife. I'm serious. It's fascinating to watch. A tremendous duality. Violence is a by-produce of the fuck-fear. A sublimation. Smash the dirty cuckold. I see it big and clear. And I mean to prod them with it, flog them with new and more shocking possibilities. Who's doing it? The bank teller? The coon at the corner grocery? The regimental goatmaster? Ah yes. The shits are vulnerable. They're all afraid...

I guess I'll return to this foggy cliff-dwelling after the NY run and try to get organized enough to write something real and still pay the rent. Sandy [Thompson's wife] seems to think everything is hunky-dory. I guess she might as well stay ignorant. The truth is that I'm wound up so tight that I can't get loose enough to work. Tension saps the energies...What cripples me is the lack of a coherent attitude. I have learned too much. Like a lot of other people. Today I drove downtown and stalked around in my boots and sheepskin jacket. I doublepark and just drift around the area, staring at people. This town is a good one to stare at, but not much to chew on...As usual it's nearly dawn. This letter has been a fulltime job. A monster...'' Thompson then wraps up the letter before hand-writing ''-now it's all over - out to the beach for a run - Send word - your card arrived & is hung - Zapata''. Four pages on four separate sheets measure 8.5'' x 11''. Letter appears to be missing pages two and four, as pages are numbered 3, 5 and 6 in addition to the first page. Some creasing and light soiling, overall very good plus condition.
Hunter S. Thompson Letter Signed ''Zapata'' That Reads Like a Short Story: ''...I might have a go at the bible...Faith in what?...In god, Grapefruit or the Final Orgasm with the Queen of the Jews...''Hunter S. Thompson Letter Signed ''Zapata'' That Reads Like a Short Story: ''...I might have a go at the bible...Faith in what?...In god, Grapefruit or the Final Orgasm with the Queen of the Jews...''Hunter S. Thompson Letter Signed ''Zapata'' That Reads Like a Short Story: ''...I might have a go at the bible...Faith in what?...In god, Grapefruit or the Final Orgasm with the Queen of the Jews...''
Hunter S. Thompson Letter Signed ''Zapata'' That Reads Like a Short Story: ''...I might have a go at the bible...Faith in what?...In god, Grapefruit or the Final Orgasm with the Queen of the Jews...''
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Auction closed on Thursday, January 30, 2020.
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