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Thursday, June 9, 2011

RAW vs. the Velvet Underground

There's an old joke that only a few thousand people bought the first Velvet Underground album, but that all of them went out and started their own rock and roll bands.

I sometimes think that Robert Anton Wilson has the same effect on readers. Not everyone who reads him becomes a published novelist, of course, but all of the RAW-fans that I can think of are writers in some fashion or another. (And indeed, RAW was a writer for years before he became a "novelist.) Eric Wager is a poet and an author, R. Michael Johnson is an essayist ("blogger" doesn't really capture it), many SF writers such as L. Neil Smith cite him as an influence, etc. etc. Rumor has it that there's even an obsessive-compulsive nut out there who does a blog devoted entirely to RAW.

Latest example: Here is an article about a new "zombie apocalypse novel" from Jean-Paul Corriveau. "His interest in literature started around the same time he read "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and some of H.P. Lovecraft's writings. Later in high school, he found spiritual fraternity in Robert Anton Wilson's quantum psychology philosophies."

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