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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Robert Shea fanzine address in Illuminatus!

Yesterday, I asked whether it's true that there are any references in Illuminatus!  to "No Governor," Robert Shea's "zine of Illuminated anarchism."

Arthur Hlavaty wrote to point me to this passage in the work (page 622 of the omnibus):

On Feb. 2 Robert Putney Drake received a book in the mail. The return address, he noted, was Gold and Appel Transfers on Canal Street, one of the corporations owned by that intriguing Celine fellow who had kept appearing at the best parties for the last year or so. It was titled Never Whistle While You're Pissing, the and flyleaf had a bold scrawl saying, "Best regards from the author," followed by a gigantic C like a crescent moon. The publisher was Green and Pleasant Publications, P.O. Box 359, Glencoe, Illinois, 60022.

If you look at the colophon for the early issues of "No Governor," you will see that it's credited to "Green and Pleasant Press," of the exact same address as the novel. The last issue of the zine has a slightly different address -- the P.O. Box is 319 rather than 359.

While Wilson and Shea could have come up with this joke on their own, I'll point out that they both loved Robert Heinlein's work and that Heinlein put his own address, to similar humorous effect, in his short story, "--And He Built a Crooked House--," a favorite of mine when I was in high school. ("Own address" is a slight simplification. Here is the sentence from the Wikipedia article: "In the story, it says that Quintus Teal lived at 8775 Lookout Mountain Avenue in Hollywood, across the street from 'the Hermit, the original Hermit of Hollywood.' That address is actually across the street from Heinlein's own house at the time the story was written.")

Thanks, Arthur!


Anonymous said...
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michael said...

Supposedly Shea wrote an actual article to Teenset magazine in 1969, under the name "Sandra Glass." If true, part of it is in Illuminatus!, pp.40-41, and note that "Sandra" is getting her info from "Simon," who would be RAW.

This Memo was dug up by "Pat" the researcher, who's throwing Saul a lot of curves, knucklers...Something ain't right about this gal.

nakchtra devi said...
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