Leary on ILLUMINATUS!
This blog isn't going to turn into the "Timothy Leary Show," but I recently noticed an item by Leary I liked and I want to mention it here.
Leary wrote the introduction for Cosmic Trigger I. It includes this passage:
There are two word which always define a great writer-philosopher:
Each civilization, we are told, produces at its high water mark one or more encyclopedic works which summarize the knowledge, technology, culture, philosophy of the epoch. Such books are like neurogenetic manuals which summarize and explain a primitive planetary culture to an Intelligence Agent from another world. Dante, Boccaccio, James Joyce, Hesse. As American civilization moves from its adolescence into the final territorial stages of technological centralization preceding Space Migration, it is beginning to produce such encyclopedia writings. For example, Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, the Illuminatus trilogy of Wilson and Shea, and the book you hold in your hand.
Does anyone besides me think that Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson also belongs on the list?