Monday, July 19, 2010

Wilson didn't drive

The liner notes for the spoken word recording "Robert Anton Wilson: The Lost Studio Session," has a bit of biographical information about RAW that I haven't seen anywhere: He didn't drive.

Joseph Matheny writes, "I first met Bob in 1988, in Santa Cruz, California, when I produced some shows with him. I was a fan of his work from an early age and wanted to introduce the world to him. Later, when he moved to Santa Cruz, we were both part of a writer’s salon, known as The Formless Ocean Group or The F.O.G. I became his unofficial driver and bodyguard for a while, since he didn’t drive (but he owned a car), and I have never shied away from physical confrontation with over-exuberant (and sometimes mentally misguided) fans. Nothing violent, just some misdirection and strategic placement of my body between the person 'on a mission' and Bob."

Matheny adds, "Anyway, I will go more in depth about this period of time in an upcoming audio book I am producing for Falcon Press, with other 'friends of Bob.' Watch for it."

When I see more about that audiobook, I'll post the news here.

What is it about writers and learning to drive? I noticed the obituaries for science fiction writer Octavia Estelle Butler said she didn't drive. Libertarian science fiction writer L. Neil Smith does not drive.

On the other hand, perhaps some writers should never have learned. The brilliant science fiction writer Roger Zelazny apparently was better at daydreaming about his next story then he was at concentrating on the task at hand. Biographical material written by Dr. Christopher Kovacs in the excellent Roger Zelazny Project, a six-volume collection of Zelazny's short fiction, poetry and nonfiction, make it clear that Zelazny was a menace any time he got behind the wheel.

Does anybody know whether RAW read Zelazny? I feel sure RAW would have enjoyed "He Who Shapes," a novella later published in book form as THE DREAM MASTER.


Bobby Campbell said...

Very interesting!

I enjoy the writing of the somewhat obscure philosopher/mathematician Franklin Merrell Wolff, who described his inability to properly operate an automobile as his experience of "dhyāna" developed.

quackenbush said...

might have been the post polio in the legs that kept him from driving...