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Sunday, May 15, 2011

RAW on his writing

I've been slowly reading TSOG (if I were quickly reading it I'd be done -- it's not a very long book) and although it's not his best book, there are some fine pieces. There's a really good chapter called "Why Hannibal Lecter Would Make a Better President Than George W. Bush." A passage:

I told him that the writers I enjoy most (Swift, Twain, Bierce, Faulkner, Joyce, Pound, Chandler, Higgins) all contained a special flavor of satire that I could not precisely define even though I think it permeates my own books; "acid satire" hardly seems satisfactory.

"I think I have the word you need," Dr. Lecter said genially. "Biting. You write biting satire." And he showed his small white teeth in a gentle smile.

I recognized all of the names except Higgins, but Eric Wagner supplies the context in An Insider's Guide to Robert Anton Wilson: "Higgins, George Vincent (1939-1999). One of Bob's favorite writers, author of The Friends of Eddie Coyle, The Friends of Richard Nixon, and a terrific book on the Boston Red Sox, etc. Many of his books have a Boston locale and give a great picture of the politics of the city."

I've said his before: Eric's book is a must-have for the serious RAW fan.

1 comment:

Eric Wagner said...

Thanks for the kind words. Over the past 29 I've followed up many leads from Bob Wilson's words. Some of them have led to full blown obsessions, like Joyce, Pound, Welles, and Leary, etc.

Thinking of Higgins' Nixon book, I just read _Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat_ by Bob Woodward, which I enjoyed. My favorite line: "the technical wiring diagram issues of observing the flowerpot."