Saturday, June 12, 2010

Robert Anton Wilson, Buckeye

Robert Anton Wilson lived in a number of places during his life, including Chicago, Ireland, New York City and California. But as this humble blog is being written in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, I want to note that he also was an Ohioan.

During the early 1960s, Wilson lived in Yellow Springs, Ohio. It's a small town, but also was something of a countercultural enclave, owing to the presence of Antioch College.

Wilson's sojourn there found its way into ILLUMINATUS!, where it is revealed that Simon Moon went to school in Antioch, as in this passage on page 62: "The next stop was Antioch in dear old Yellow Springs where I majored in mathematics for reasons you will soon guess. The pot there grows wild in acres and acres of beautiful nature preserve kept up by the college. You can go out there at night, pick your own grass for the week from the female of the hemp species and sleep under the stars with a female of your own species, then wake up in the morning with birds and rabbits and the whole lost Thomas Wolfe America scene, a stone, a leaf an unfound door and all of it, then make it to class feeling really good and reading for an education."

Antioch College has closed for money reasons, and as of this writing, it's not clear that supporters will succeed in reopening it.