As the world is gearing up for another Johnny Depp-powered glimpse into the life of Hunter S. Thompson with the release of The Rum Diary later this month, Playboy is opening up their archive of correspondence with the writer. This week, the magazine posted a handful of letters that the original Gonzo journalist sent to his editor in the 1960s and 70s. Letters from Thompson aren't a terribly rare commodity. He wrote them voraciously and fastidiously kept carbon copies of them all. The many books written about Thompson's life tend to be packed with quotes from his often handwritten--sometimes in different colors of crayon--letters. Nevertheless, this latest batch unreleased letters is full of novel Gonzo wisdom about everything from journalism to fishing.
How to cure a hangover: "12 Amyl Nitrites (one box) in conjunction with as many beers as possible."
How to edit a rambling magazine article: Throw it out the window.
How to write a story about werewolves: Do the research yourself.
How not to edit a Gonzo journalist: Tell him how to write.
How to write about fishing: Begrudgingly.
By the way, this is all much more practical than Norman Mailer's brand of advice.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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