Saturday, October 30, 2010

Robert Anton Wilson -- staying power for paranoid readers?

Greetings from World Fantasy Con in Columbus, where I have seen renewed evidence that H.P. Lovecraft, whose work is featured in ILLUMINATUS!, remains an influential fantasy writer. My friend F. Brett Cox remarked that the two arguably most influential science fiction or fantasy writers in the last century were Lovecraft and Philip K. Dick, who both had a consistently paranoid vision of the world. Paranoia is also a consistent theme of Wilson's work, which teaches us to be suspicious of power.

6 comments:

michael said...

RAW also calls paranoia "a losing script." But it's more complex than that. In his 2000 interview with Michael Taft, Taft asked RAW: "Do you think the early experience with polio had much effect on you?

RAW: Yea, I think it underlies the tone of anxiety and paranoia that you find in all of my novels...

Then RAW gives a quasi-gnostic elaboration. (Or rather: it SEEMED gnostic to _me_.)

The theme of paranoia is rich in RAW's work, of course. But he also has a lot to say ABOUT paranoia. It's diffuse and he addresses it from many different levels.

Has anyone reading this blog read any great non-fiction books on paranoia and writers and how the paranoia might link to childhood illnesses?

michael said...

BTW: RAW credits HPL with inspiring the technique of mixing "fact" into his "fiction" in such a way that the Reader after a while can't tell where the borderlines are, and he has talked about this HPL infl in particular w/re/to The Widow's Son.

Royal Academy of Reality 1132 said...

Much as I love Lovecraft and Phil Dick, I think Heinlein has had much more influence (including his influence on PKD).

supergee said...

Some people are good at finding patterns others miss. The ones who have it under control are critics. The ones who are bothered by it are paranoids. The ones who are so bothered by it that they bother others are paranoid schizophrenics.

Nick said...

RAW commented a few times online about Dali's Critical Paranoia technique. The art of holding two opposing views comfortably in your head at the same time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoiac-critical_method

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