Friday, January 25, 2013

About Camden Benares

Yesterday's posting about the new Bobby Campbell cover art for Zen Without Zen Masters by Camden Benares reminded me of something: Robert Anton Wilson praised it highly in the original version of his novel Schroedinger's Cat II: The Trick Top Hat, reprinted in shorter form in the one volume edition of Schroedinger's Cat that's the current version in print.

The original version had a chapter, "Not to Cross," that's chopped out of the later version. It includes a reference to Operation Mindfuck that's on page 171 of the original Pocket paperback.

OM, the chapter explains, is "Wilson's name for the group art-work including the Illuminatus volumes,  Dr. Timothy Leary's What Does WoMan Want? Gregory Hill's Principia Discordia and Camden Benares' Zen Without Zen Masters."

Obviously, that puts Benares' book in some pretty heavy company.

As it turns out, Arthur Hlavaty used to correspond with Benares. This interesting blog post reveals that Benares died in 2000 (read the comments after you read Arthur's post).


Bobby Campbell said...


Which reminds me I'm supposed to be working on interior artwork too...

And I also did a cover for another of the group art-works: "What Does WoMan Want?" (Thou as yet unpublished)

Oh and hey! Does anyone know anything about Samuel R Delany?

I'm down to my last 2 classes at Temple University and he's my senior capstone creative writing professor.

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

Delany is a very good, very famous old science fiction writer; I only got to hear him speak once at a convention. He's best known for a massive avante garde novel called "Dhalgren," but I always liked his early stuff, particularly "Babel-17" and his short story collection, "Driftglass." His autobiography also is interesting. His class should be very interesting. Don't know if he ever read "Illuminatus!" or what he thinks of it.

Bobby Campbell said...

Cool! Thx for POV!

I had never heard of him before, but googled him after a surprisingly interesting first class, and was very impressed by what I found!

Andrew Crawshaw said...

What is the significance of the chapter's title?

I know that there is a rule in G Spencer Brown's Laws of form which says "to cross again is not to cross", or something like that, and I recall all the "sub-chapters" in schroedinger's cat being quite short. is there some connection between Laws of Form and OM?

Burnt Corky said...

Zen Without Zen Masters internally radiates all of the power of Info-Psychology and Prometheus Rising, if the reader uses heart-based cognition to tap into it. It uses a very Oriental, harmonic, and rhythmic method to produce related effects as those other books.

Very, very cool. One of my favorites, ever. One, just like all of my favorite books, you can read over and over and over again, countless times

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