I love reading author’s letters. You get great insight into the writer’s life, their process, and personality. I just came across these letters between Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph Steadman, the illustrator of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and lots of Thompson’s other works.
Steadman and Thompson had a strained relationship throughout their time working together. Thompson often tormented Steadman, giving the Englishman constant grief. He also brought Steadman along on many pranks, including a time when they went to spray paint “fuck the pope” on the side of one of the boats in The Americas Cup.
In this exchange Hunter is upset because Steadman sent Rolling Stone magazine some of his illustrations of Thompson, and Rolling Stone are considering printing the illustrations.
Thompson is so enraged he threatens to end their friendship: “you and I have had our last Scotch together,” Thompson writes. “Thanx for the laughs. “
Steadman, who usually tolerates Thompson’s antics and abuse, obviously was not going to take anymore:
“…don’t get pompous with me. I am not one of your goddamn sychophants or acolytes. I am the one you needed when you needed someone to say what cannot be said in words.”
Anyway, the link is below if you want to read the whole exchange. Enjoy.
Letters of Note: Don’t get pompous with me.