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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

RAW on James Joyce's greatness

PQ, featured in yesterday's post,  Tweets a provocative quote from Robert Anton Wilson: "James Joyce is more important than Jesus, Buddha, and Shakespeare put together."

There's no doubt that Wilson saw Joyce as a revolutionary writer, and I don't think it's a coincidence  that Masks of the Illuminati pairs Joyce with Albert Einstein, a revolutionary scientist. But it's also true that RAW knew he was being provocative. Here's a bit more of that question and answer:

CRNLA: Any more artistic opinions?

RAW: If I must. James Joyce is more important than Jesus, Buddha and Shakespeare put together. Pound is the greatest poet in English. Thorne Smith should be reprinted immediately, and would be enormously popular with the current generation, I wager. The novels that get praised in the NY Review of Books aren't worth reading. Ninety-seven percent of science fiction is adolescent rubbish, but good science fiction is the best (and only) literature of our times. All of these opinions are pompous and aggressive, of course, but questions like this bring out the worst in me. Artistic judgments are silly if expressed as dogmas, at least until we get an "artometer" which can measure objectively how many micro-michelangelos or kilo-homers of genius a given artifact has in it.

The interview is one of my favorites. You can read it here.

PQ, by the way, has begun his annual Major League Baseball preview at his blog. I await his prediction for the Cleveland Indians with a sense of foreboding.

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