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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cosmic Trigger II

I finished Cosmic Trigger II: Down to Earth a few weeks ago, re-reading it after many years, and I can't get over what a good book it is. The subtitle "Down to Earth," is revealing, I think -- while the book is as good an introduction as any to Wilson's thoughts, I was struck by how vivid and immediate the biographical material was. (I read aloud to my wife the section about how Wilson's parents gave him a dime to bring to church, and how he could have used it instead for a trip to the movies, and didn't dare cutting the dime down to a nickle like the other boys.) The various story lines, particularly the incident with the Brooklyn Bridge early in the book, give it more narrative drive than one would usually expect in a memoir. You want to read it to find out "what happens." If you were going to recommend a RAW book to someone with more or less "normal" reading tastes, I suspect this might be it. Cosmic Trigger II is published by New Falcon, so there's a typographical error every couple of pages or so, but kudos to them for keeping it and many other RAW titles in print.


BrentQ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BrentQ said...

I'm reading Email to the Universe right now, and I would have to say it might be the best introduction to RAWs work. It's easily accessible, humourous, and contains some his best essays from over 50 years of writing. I'm actually taking my time reading it and savoring every page.(wow that sounds geeky)

michael said...

In an interview w/Joseph Nye done in 1994 and eventually published in Fortean Times in 1995:

Nye: In your second volume of autobiography, Cosmic Trigger II, there is a hint of resignation. You say that you would like to be shot into space and listen to Scarlatti. Have you given up on mankind?

RAW: The book was an attempt to present different sides of my personality as they've developed in time, and so you get the past mixed up with the present. The past does not always unfold chronologically. It's the same with ideas - some I held for a long time, some I held for just one afternoon. The book's an attempt to show there is no consistent ego. It's a Buddhist book. So the resignation was just a mood George Bush put me in around the time of the Gulf War.

Anonymous said...

One of my all time favorite books!