Friday, April 10, 2009

Bowman-final proposal

For my final project I plan to explain why Danielewski considered Hunter S. Thompson important enough to the many themes and narrative of House of Leaves to be included in Karen’s “What some have thought” piece. I will base my argument around Thompson’s most celebrated work, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, focusing almost entirely on the books central theme of drug use and its effects. This theme is ever present in House of Leaves, on several levels of narration, and therefore the two books are inexorably linked.

In my project I will examine evidence from both texts that support my thesis: Danielewski modeled the drug use in House of Leaves after the drug use in Hunter S. Thompson’s book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, both of whom use drugs for their inherent effects on the characters within the stories, and the effect drugs have on the form their books take. For the purposes of this paper drug use will be defined as any chemical that is used specifically for its intoxifying effects. Further the primary drug that will be examined is alcohol, as it is the most common link between the two books, and it is the drug I have had the most experience with.

The effects drugs have on human physiology, human psychology, and a persons place within society, will all be considered and compared between the two works, noting that Thompson’s book came out 38 years before House of Leaves. Also the use of alcohol on form will be experimented with, then compared with and analyzed using Johnny’s narratives, and Raoul Duke’s (main character in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas). All of which will lead back to the thesis.


Adam Johns said...

The first paragraph already shows a good amount of focus; it helps, of course, that HST's appearance in the books emphasizes both his drug abuse and his confusion (as well as his obscenity).

In the succeeding two paragraphs, despite your assertions to the contrary, you are wandering away from, not moving toward, having a clear thesis. Comparing and contrasting two texts is in no way making an argument about their relationship - you're starting out with the reasonble assumption that D is modeling the influence of drugs upon Johny/Lude etc upon their influence on HST. Fine - but what does that mean? How should our understanding of the book change? That's where there is interesting work to be done?

Marika said...

I would suggest that you also read Screwjack, which is a collection of three (very) short stories by HST. Within these three stories, he details his first ever mescaline trip. By this, I mean he types out what is happening while it is happening. You can imagine how great this is.

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