Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Eric Wagner on 'Tale of the Tribe'

TSOG is, in my opinion, not one of Robert Anton Wilson's best books, but it does have its moments,  in particular a section at the back that provides an outline for Tale of the Tribe, the book about the Internet that Wilson planned to write but never finished.

Eric Wagner points out that there is a Tale of the Tribe discussion thread at the Maybe Logic Academy forum (open to everyone.) Wagner notes, "Fly, Dr. Johnson and myself, along with many others, have done a lot of work over the past decade pondering Bob's unwritten Tale of the Tribe.  My new book will hopefully provide a look at my part of that process, especially in terms of Joyce and Bob." (Eric is referring to his work in progress, Straight Outta Dublin.)

Here is another observation from Eric, posted over at Overweening Generalist: ""On another note, I've changed my perception of Bob's Tale of the Tribe. I used to regard it as an unwritten work. Now I regard it as a perfect fragment, like the fragments the Romantics liked so much. (I love Charles Rosen's discussion of Romantic fragments in his The Romantic Generation.) We live in that perfect fragment, The Tale of the Tribe. (Well, you and I seem to live in that fragment. Perhaps our whole culture, our whole tribe, does.)

"One can see 'Kubla Khan' as another such, um, complete fragment, a successful poem about incompletion.

"I remember Bob telling me he had a conversation in 1968 in Chicago with Ginsberg and Burroughs about The Cantos, and they decided it seemed appropriate for the epic of the 20th century to end in fragments."

1 comment:

Eric Wagner said...

Thanks for posting this. It struck me today that Charles Foster Kane's unfinished home Xanadu also seems isomorphic to Pound's unfinished Cantos.