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An Outlaw Journalist's Journey through an Era Decadent and Depraved: Hunter S. Thompson in the context of America of the 1960s and early 1970s.
Název práce v češtině: Putování novinářského psance dobou dekadence a zvrácenosti: Hunter S. Thompson v kontextu Ameriky 60. a raných 70. let.
Název v anglickém jazyce: An Outlaw Journalist's Journey through an Era Decadent and Depraved: Hunter S. Thompson in the context of America of the 1960s and early 1970s.
Klíčová slova: Hunter S. Thompson, 60. léta, 70. léta, kontrakultura, nový žurnalismus, postmodernismus, americký sen, Thomas Pynchon, Tom Robbins, Don DeLillo
Klíčová slova anglicky: Hunter S. Thompson, 1960s, 1970s, counterculture, New Journalism, postmodernism, American Dream, Thomas Pynchon, Tom Robbins, Don DeLillo
Akademický rok vypsání: 2012/2013
Typ práce: diplomová práce
Jazyk práce: angličtina
Ústav: Ústav anglofonních literatur a kultur (21-UALK)
Vedoucí / školitel: David Lee Robbins, Ph.D.
Řešitel: skrytý - zadáno a potvrzeno stud. odd.
Datum přihlášení: 03.07.2013
Datum zadání: 03.07.2013
Datum potvrzení stud. oddělením: 30.09.2013
Datum a čas obhajoby: 04.02.2015 09:00
Datum odevzdání elektronické podoby:12.01.2015
Datum odevzdání tištěné podoby:14.01.2015
Datum proběhlé obhajoby: 04.02.2015
Odevzdaná/finalizovaná: odevzdaná studentem a finalizovaná
Oponenti: PhDr. Hana Ulmanová, Ph.D.
 
 
 
Zásady pro vypracování
In my MA thesis I will basically focus on the uniqueness of Hunter S. Thompson as a distinctive countercultural persona who significantly influenced both the American alternative and popular cultures. Apart from Thompson, there are only few more authors that can be so greatly associated with the United States in the 1960s, the time of immense cultural, political, and social changes. Among those men of letters who are often seen as voices of the “flower generation” (Ken Kesey, Allen Ginsberg), Hunter S. Thompson emerges as a persona with a completely original approach to his literary work as he is widely considered one of the pioneers of the New Journalism. Thanks to his boisterous lifestyle and often bizarre hobbies he became an active participant in the countercultural events of the time and in his work the audience is presented with vivid images of the era. Still, he was able to maintain an independent opinion on what was happening in America of that time and his portrait of the United States of the 1960s is therefore free of glorification of what, for him, eventually became a mass and superficial sort of a cultural movement.
The main goal of the thesis will be to present the era of the 1960s and early 1970s as it reflected in the American society through the eyes of one of its most distinctive members – writer and journalist Hunter S. Thompson. An analysis of his 1966 piece Hell's Angels, in which Thompson will provide us with a great insight in the environment of outlaw motorcycle gangs, their philosophy, and lifestyle. During the late 1960s such motorcycle gangs, including Hell’s Angels, gradually blended in the counterculture and became integral members of it as they began to adhere to the principles of Eastern philosophies, use of psychedelic drugs, and free love. Thompson’s piece is one of the first serious literary accounts on the life inside a motorcycle gang but the text can also be seen as a documentary on the drug culture in general. Rather a similar theme of psychedelic drug use was explored by Thompson in his most acclaimed work, a 1971 novel called Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, in which he presents the readership the contemporary cultural environment and deals with psychedelia and alternative psychedelic culture in general. What connects both abovementioned texts is the recurrence of Thompson’s characteristic exploration of the phenomenon of the American Dream, the decay of which forms one of the most distinctive themes of his writing and will therefore be closely examined in the thesis as well.
Moreover, when dealing with Hunter S. Thompson in the context of the given era, we must not forget to include in our study the emergence of the so-called “Gonzo Journalism,” some elements of which he, for the first time ever, tried to employ in Hell’s Angels, and through which he commented on contemporary situation in society, culture, and politics. His 1970 article “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved” and his book on the 1972 presidential campaign called Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72 represent significant milestones in the evolution of both New Journalism and Thompson’s characteristic gonzo style. A thorough analysis will provide us with another perspective on the world as viewed by the author, his attitude to American society, psychedelic experience as well as to the mainstream culture.
Since Thompson's philosophy as presented in his texts may sometimes seem biased against the American counterculture, the thesis will also deal with selected works of such authors that were not active participants within the 1960s countercultural events but still somehow commented on the psychedelic culture in their fiction, or rather dealt with similar topics and themes such as the American Dream and the condition of American society in the era of the turn of the two decades. Among such works of fiction that will be used for comparison there are particularly Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49, Vineland and Inherent Vice as well as Don DeLillo's Great Jones Street and Tom Robbins' Another Roadside Attraction. This will also help us to understand Hunter S. Thompson’s philosophy in the context of postmodern American fiction, to depict his personality in its wholeness, and to capture the contemporary zeitgeist as perceived by some of the most distinguished intellectual minds of the era.
Seznam odborné literatury
Primary Sources:
DeLillo, Don. Great Jones Street. New York: Penguin Books, 2006.
Pynchon, Thomas. Vineland. New York: Penguin Books, 1997.
Robbins, Tom. Another Roadside Attraction. New York: Bantam, 2003.
Thompson, Hunter S. Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga. New York: Random House, 1996.
Thompson, Hunter S. Fear and Loathing in America: The Brutal Odyssey of an Outlaw Journalist. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006.
Thompson, Hunter S. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream. New York: Vintage Books, 1998.
Thompson, Hunter S. The Gonzo Papers Anthology. London: Picador, 2009.
Thompson, Hunter S. The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman 1955-1967. London: Bloomsbury, 1998.

Secondary Sources:
Gair, Christopher. The American Counterculture. Edinburgh: University Press, 2007.
Mattessich, Stefan. Lines of Flight: Discursive Time and Countercultural Desire in the Work of Thomas Pynchon. Durham: Duke University Press, 2002.
McKeen, William. Outlaw Journalist: The Life and Times of Hunter S. Thompson. New York: W.W.Norton & Co., 2008.
Roszak, Theodore. The Making of a Counterculture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.
Stephenson, William. Gonzo Republic: Hunter S. Thompson's America. London: Continuum, 2012.
Thompson, Anita ed. Ancient Gonzo Wisdom: Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson. Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2009.
Torrey, Beef and Kevin Simonson eds. Conversations with Hunter S. Thompson. Oxford: University of Mississippi Press, 2008.
Weingarten, Marc. The Gang That Wouldn’t Write Straight: Wolfe, Thompson, Didion, Capote & The New Journalism Revolution. New York: Crown Press, 2005.
 
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