Robert Anton Wilson
[Today I want to share a quote from an interview with Robert Anton Wilson in the ebook Science Fiction: An Oral History, by D. Scott Apel. The 99 cents book has a good Wilson interview and the other interviews are worth a look, too. Tomorrow, I finally have a day off, and I'll work on my new interview with Apel, coming soon, which you won't want to miss. The quote is used by Ape's permission. The Management.]
"We're all living in a novel, and we've got a choice as to which kind of novel we're living in. I'm dreadfully sorry for the people who are living in naturalistic novels in the James T. Farrell tradition; you know, where everything comes to a bad end, and all there is is injustice and stupidity in the world. People are living in that tunnel-reality because artists created it for them. And they were good artists, in that they were strong, they were powerful, they were influential, and so there are millions of people living in that reality. Then there are people who are living in the heroic Hemingway tunnel-reality still, and there are a lot of timid academic people living in a T.S. Eliot tunnel-reality. Most of the country is living in a television-tube reality. I'm delighted to be living in science fiction. It's one of the more open and exciting tunnel-realities to be live in.
"That was one of Joyce's great discoveries, that everybody is living in a novel. That's why Ulysses is an anthology of novels. It's a novel in the form of an anthology, and each of the characters is living in a separate tunnel-reality that's a mirror of the literature that's been programmed into their neurological circuits."