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Saturday, March 11, 2017

John Crowley on Expanding Mind

Do the rest of you guys suffer from "book guilt"? I have meant for awhile to try author John Crowley's novels (such as Little, Big) and I just haven't gotten around to it yet. I try to be as well read as I can, but there are gaps. I'm pretty sure other people have this problem. I once asked a person if that person had read Don DeLillo. "No," the person answered, "and don't tell anyone."

While I have not yet read John Crowley, I have at least finally listened to the podcast interview of him on Erik Davis' Expanding Mind podcast. Here is the site's description: "The award-winning novelist John Crowley talks about fantastic literature, alchemy, and his new translation of the 17th century hermetic classic, The Chemical Wedding by Christian Rosenkreutz (Small Beer Press)." I found it very interesting, and I noticed Crowley is strongly influenced by the books of historian Frances Yates, also a big influence on Robert Anton Wilson.

Lots of other interesting things to listen to if you scroll through Davis' podcast archives. The latest episode is titled "Cognitive Liberty."  I'm going to listen to it, too. Description: "Criminologist and law lecturer Charlotte Walsh talks about freedom of thought, neurotechnologies, religious exceptions, and how the role human rights might play in the decriminalization of psychedelics."


fyreflye said...

I got halfway through "Little, Big" but couldn't finish it. But that's just me. I've read a lot of Don DeLillo but couldn't finish "Underworld."

Are you sure the Crowley who was such a "strong influence" on RAW was John?

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

I meant that Frances Yates was a big influence on RAW.

fyreflye said...

Yes, I read the sentence carelessly and misunderstood.

Monocolour said...

I just listened to the Cognitive Liberty podcast and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you!

I feel the term Cognitive Liberty is a brilliant renewal of Timothy Leary's two commandments for the neurological age:

1: Thou shalt not alter the consciousness of thy neighbor.
2: Thou shalt not prevent thy neighbor from altering his or her own consciousness.

I suspect that this issue is only going to grow in importance.

Rarebit Fiend said...

I love John Crowley! Little, Big, the Aegypt Cycle, and his early novels are all tinged with a melancholy that makes them all the more beautiful. Little, Big was said by Harold Bloom to be the closest work an American has produced to Lewis Carroll.

I'd highly recommend his work.

I also love Frances Yates- her books were part of what allowed me to get away with writing about occultism all the time in my undergrad years.

I'll have the Higgs book in the mail soon. I've kept it in my apartment and haven't handled it except for when I'm able to devote all my attention to it so it has been a bit slow going. I'm 20 pages from the end.

Thank you!