Hunter S. Thompson lives in Woody Creek Canyon in western Colorado, about 10 miles or so down-valley from Aspen. His home, Owl Farm, is a rustic ranch that borders the White River National Forest. His beloved peacocks roam the property freely.
A designated Rod and Gun Club, Owl Farm has hosted famous shooters such as Jimmy Carter, George McGovern and Keith Richards, who have shot clay pigeons and stationary targets on the property. George Plimpton, Douglas Brinkley and Terry McDonell visited Owl Farm this summer to interview Thompson for the Paris Review’s Writers-at-Work series. The interview, “The Art of Journalism I,” appears in Issue 156 of the journal.
The conversation with Thompson lasted 12 hours straight — nothing out of the ordinary for the host: Owl Farm operates like an 18th century salon, where people from all walks of life congregate in the wee hours for free exchanges about everything from theoretical physics to local water rights. For most of the conversation, Thompson sat at his command post on the kitchen side of a peninsula counter — rocking back and forth in a swivel chair and chain-smoking red Dunhills through a German-made gold-tipped cigarette filter.
In these excerpts, Thompson talks about writing in the air force, psychotropic drugs in politics and the origin of his most famous title.
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