Read: Hunter S. Thompson’s rejection letter to a prospective writer

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Rejection letters are an ugly part of the writing profession, but sometimes, in the right hands, they can be works of art.

Enter Hunter S. Thompson, who, despite being an incalculable influence on a generation of writers, was never content to play the straightforward elder statesman, guiding and offering advice. (My particular favorite Hunter story involves him shooting holes through copies of his books brought to him by aspiring writers for autographs, pausing occasionally to utter a primal scream.) So when Mike Patterson submitted a piece to Rolling Stone in 1971, it's doubtful he was expecting this response.

Thompson's letter, in its entirety:

"You worthless, acid-sucking piece of illiterate shit! Don't ever send this kind of brain-damaged swill in here again. If I had the time, I'd come out there and drive a fucking wooden stake into your forehead. Why don't you get a job, germ? Maybe delivering advertising handouts door to door, or taking tickets for a wax museum. You drab South Bend cocksuckers are all the same; like those dope-addled dingbats at the Rolling Stone office. I'd like to kill those bastards for sending me your piece… and I'd just as soon kill you, too. Jam this morbid drivel up your ass where your readership will better appreciate it."

The letter is signed "Yail Bloor III, Minister of Bell-Lettre," which doesn't have quite the same ring to it as "Raoul Duke," but it'll do. Also, it's post scripted "Keep up the good work. Have a nice day," proving that Thompson actually had a kind heart and intended for the writer to know all his abuse was in good fun, or was possibly now taking his abuse to psychological levels (both of which are almost certainly true).