"The Destruction of Leviathan," an 1865 engraving by Gustave Dore. (Via Wikipedia).
(This week: Page 82, "You go that way," she said, to Page 92, "the funny business that he and Simon had in mind ...")
This is the section that introduces Leviathan, who is at once a real creature and a metaphor.
Leviathan is mentioned in the Bible, in Chapter 41 the Book of Job, as a mighty sea monster. "Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook or tie down its tongue with a rope? Can you put a cord through its nose or pierce its jaw with a hook?"
A monster in the deep also helps tie the Illuminatus! trilogy to Lovecraft's Cthulu Mythos. As we will see later on H.P. Lovecraft himself appears as a character in the book.
Leviathan also is the title of a book by Thomas Hobbes that argues for strong government by an absolute sovereign. And here we come to the symbolic important of Leviathan: It is the State, the enemy of the libertarian and anarchist heroes of the trilogy. Although Leviathan is the book is an actual sea monster that Hagbard Celine battles with his yellow submarine, he also is metaphorically the opponent of the book's protagonists.
A few notes on the text:
"The sub's my creation ... " Page 83. Hagbard Celine is the Heinleinian competent man. (Robert Anton Wilson was a great admirer of the work of science fiction writer Robert Anson Heinlein. I suspect that Robert Shea was, too, although I cannot offer a citation.) A Heinlein quote:
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. (From the novel Time Enough for Love.)
"You trust only the evidence of your eyes and believe what no man tells you." One of Wilson's great themes.
"Kallisti" Page 85. "For the fairest" written on the golden apple tossed out by Eris, the troublemaker.
"If you need a group label for us, we're political non-Eulideans." Page 86.
Atlanta Hope, Page 86. Author of the cult novel, Telemachus Sneezed, discussed elsewhere in the text. A reference to Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, but also a Joyce reference, as Telemachus was the son of Odysseus, aka Ulysses.
Page 87, "A.W." Adam Weishaupt?
Page 90, "The universe is just putting us on." See Michael Johnson on life as a black comedy.
Mordecai Malignatus, or Mordecai the Foul, Page 91, Robert Anton Wilson.
Heisenberg, Page 92, Werner Heisenberg, physicist who made important contributions to quantum mechanics.
(Next week: Page 92 "WE SHALL NOT" to Page 102 "the Angel of Death would pass by their houses. Pat.")