LSD, Mules and Men : Hypermediation in Hunter S. Thompson and Zora Neale Hurston Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/5h73pz45x

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  • Hypermediation, as described by Jay Bolter and Richard Grusin in their book Remediation, is a style of writing, recording, presenting, etc. that "makes us aware of the medium or media and (in sometimes subtle and sometimes obvious ways) reminds us of our desire for immediacy" (34). This mode of production reveals and illustrates the manufactured nature of writing and the processes that go into it, thereby increasing the perceived authenticity and immediacy of the text. In my paper, I investigate a chapter in Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and several scenes in Zora Neale Hurston's Mules and Men. Ultimately, I determine that while these authors focus on the produced nature of their texts in various ways (editor’s notes that call attention to modes of production, narrative frames that contrast the slightly less mediated areas of their texts, and approximations of oral narratives/recordings that push the limits of the print format), the intentions and effects from each author are entirely different. While Thompson increases his ethos to other white, male dope users by illustrating his own gonzo persona, Hurston's text portrays her in a way that increases her authority to a middle-class white audience not familiar with black folk tales and songs that had existed primarily as an oral tradition up to this point. The differences that arise from the two illustrate the versatility of this critical gaze and importance of this manner of engagement with texts that translate from one modality to another.
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