A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I plan to re-read Masks of the Illuminati in 2013 and asked if there would be any interest if I hosted an online discussion of the book. Reaction was positive, so now it's time to talk about how to do this. I will offer suggestions below, and you can tell me if they are reasonable or need to be modified.
Masks seems like a good introduction to Robert Anton Wilson's fiction; the newbie can commit to just one book, rather than having to tackle a trilogy. It's also a relatively conventional book, at least compared to Illuminatus! or the Schroedinger's Cat trilogy. Some of you have suggested it's a good introduction to his work. At the same time, there's plenty of substance for serious RAW fans.
Like all of RAW's fiction, it remains readily available. You can buy a trade paperback or get a digital edition on Amazon. There's a Nook version, too. Or you can hunt up a cheap used copy (Amazon will help you do that) or check it out of the library. (Checking out books from the library is a good way to support helping your favorite writer become known. Books that are checked out are less likely to be "weeded out" from the shelves when a library buys new books.)
In any event, it seems like a good idea to give people a reasonable time to hunt up a copy of the book, particularly if someone cannot afford to buy a copy, so how about if we begin the week of Feb. 17?
Then there's the question of the pace to set, and how to host the discussion.
I don't want to rush through the book, but I don't want to drag out the discussion for months, either. Would eight weeks be reasonable, e.g. a pace of less than 40 pages a week, or is that still a bit too fast?
I think perhaps the form of the discussion could be like this: At least once a week, I will post about a section of the book. Everyone is invited to post comments. All of the "Masks" posts will be tagged, so that it's easy to look at them all together, and I also will post all of the links together in one place, as I've done with the Quantum Psychology discussion. I reserve the right to put up additional Masks posts during the week, either with my own thoughts, or using a comment that I want to "promote" from the comments into a separate blog posts. I may also consider emailing questions about aspects of the book to some of my favorite bloggers, then posting a link to their posts, if they bite.
What do you think?