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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Where are the papers?

Robert Anton Wilson is not the first writer I have become very interested in. Years ago, I became fascinated with offbeat science fiction writer R.A. Lafferty, to the point where I went to the University of Tulsa, where his papers are deposited, and read some of his correspondence and unpublished fiction. Years later, after I had gotten interested in surrealistic poet Charles Henri Ford, I read some of his papers at the University of Texas at Austin.

So where do I go to read Wilson's literary papers? I have not been able to obtain an answer to this question. In a way, this seems like a greedy question, because in addition to his fiction, there are many volumes of nonfiction in which Wilson discusses his ideas at great length. There's plenty of material in print for the Wilson fan and scholar to read. Not to mention the wonderful archive at Robert Anton Wilson Fans.

But there's more out there that hasn't become available. For example, much of his correspondence cannot be read. In COSMIC TRIGGER III, MY LIFE AFTER DEATH, in Chapter 4, about Robert Shea, Wilson writes about his correspondence with Shea, "for 23 years we wrote about every important idea in the world and filled enough paper for several volumes. I hope some of that will get published some day."

I'd like to read it, preferably in a book, but I don't know even know where it is, or if it's been preserved. Mike Shea, who has done an admirable job making his father's work available at the official Robert Shea page, has not come up with any leads about where this correspondence is. I will keep asking people who might know.

1 comment:

Eric Wagner said...

I became fascinated by R. A. Lafferty in the 90's when I read a lot of Neil Gaiman, who praised Lafferty.

ASU has William S. Burrough's papers. I met him on October 23, 1983, when they bought the collection. I used to page through them when I lived in Arizona.