In 1958, the great Hunter S. Thompson applied for a reporter spot at the Vancouver Sun. The paper reprinted his cover letter, reminding us all that even the most original writers were once looking for work.
Here’s more from the cover letter: “I’ve taken some writing courses from Columbia in my spare time, learned a hell of a lot about the newspaper business, and developed a healthy contempt for journalism as a profession. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity. If this is what you’re trying to get The Sun away from, then I think I’d like to work for you.”
Last year, this GalleyCat editor took Thompson‘s novel, The Rum Diary, along on a vacation to Puerto Rico. The video essay embedded above traced Thompson’s footsteps around 1959, when he struggled as a reporter at a Puerto Rican newspaper–one year after his Vancouver application. (Via Bud Parr)