(Jerry) Gustav Hasford
 
1947-1993
 
Also known as: George Gordon

                  Nationality:  American
                  Place of Birth:  Haleyville, AL
 

                  Personal Information:   Family:  Born November 28, 1947, in Haleyville, AL;
                  died of complications from diabetes, January 29, 1993, in Greece; son of
                  Hassell Gustave (a factory worker) and Hazel (a librarian; maiden name,
                  Noblett) Hasford; married Charlene Broock (a librarian), September 1, 1978.
                  Education:  Attended Santa Monica City College, 1972.  Politics:  Socialist.
                  Religion:  "Beer."  Military/Wartime Service:  U.S. Marine Corp., 1966-68;
                  became corporal; served as combat correspondent in Vietnam.  Memberships:
                  Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
 

                  Career:  Writer.  Worked as hotel clerk in Longview, WA, 1970-71.

                  WRITINGS BY THE AUTHOR:

                       The Short-Timers, Harper, 1979.

                       (With Stanley Kubrick and Michael Herr) Full Metal Jacket: The
                       Screenplay, Knopf (New York City), 1987.

                       The Phantom Blooper, Bantam Books (New York City), 1990.

                       A Gypsy Good Time, Washington Square Press (New York City),
                       1992.

                  Contributor to periodicals under pseudonym George Gordon.

                  "Sidelights"

                  Gustav Hasford's book, The Short-Timers, met with both critical acclaim and
                  derision.  Walter Clemons called it "the best work of fiction about the Vietnam
                  war I've read."  He added, "The Short-Timers is a study of brutalization,
                  narrated with a fastidious nonchalance that only a careless reader will mistake
                  for lack of feeling."  However, a critic for New Republic claimed, "The
                  Short-Timers may be an effective purgation, but as a novel it not only fails to
                  move but to interest."  The same critic also cited Hasford for his excessive
                  violence.  "One reads on from morbid motives only," declared the New Republic
                  writer.

                  The Short-Timers was the basis for director Stanley Kubrick's 1987 Vietnam
                  War film Full Metal Jacket, for which he shared an Academy Award
                  nomination as coscreenwriter.  The novel and film draw on the author's own
                  experiences as a combat correspondent with the U.S. Marine Corps during the
                  war.  Hasford also wrote the books The Phantom Blooper, a sequel to The
                  Short-Timers, and A Gypsy Good Time.  In 1988 he added a measure of
                  infamy to his reputation when police charged him with grand theft for taking
                  more than seven hundred books from American and English libraries; Hasford
                  was ultimately convicted of a lesser charge, possessing stolen property.

                  Hasford told CA:  "Lao-Tze pointed out that nothing worth saying can be said
                  with words.  Words are crude and clumsy things, objects of ink, ultimately
                  imprecise.  And writing is as much fun as giving birth to a Howard Johnson's.
                  Writers learn to live with that fact the way a soldier learns to live with fear or the
                  way a doctor learns to live with death.  When the battle is lost, the soldier
                  attacks.  When the case is hopeless, the doctor operates.  So writers write.  And
                  whereas soldiers and doctors are allowed to bury their mistakes a writer is
                  expected to publish his.

                  "Being a writer was not my first choice for a profession.  I would much prefer to
                  be an archaeologist, a sculptor, or a country-western singer.  But then I had all
                  these ideas for books which came to me in a vision.  Since then, I have been
                  convinced that there is no human problem which could not be solved if people
                  would simply do as I say.  Yet my work remains a personal statement--I speak
                  for no groups or social factions.  I have no goals beyond the completion of my
                  next story.  The praise I seek from my readers is that they finish my books.  After
                  being alternately damned and praised for equally invalid reasons, I am content to
                  trade fame for accuracy of interpretation.  Fame, for a writer, is like being a
                  dancing bear with a little hat on your head."

                  FURTHER READINGS ABOUT THE
                  AUTHOR:

                  BOOKS

                       Jenkins, Greg, Stanley Kubrick and the Art of Adaptation: Three
                       Novels, Three Films, McFarland (Jefferson, NC), 1997.

                  PERIODICALS

                       Chicago Tribune, January 14, 1979.

                       New Republic, January 27, 1979.

                       Newsweek, January 1, 1979.
 
 

                  Obituary and Other Sources:

                  PERIODICALS

                       Los Angeles Times, February 3, 1993, p. A12.
 

                  Source:  Contemporary Authors Online.  The Gale Group, 1999.

                  Gale DatabaseContemporary Authors
 

                  © 1999 THE GALE GROUP.
 
 
 

 
 
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