Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. Blog, Internet resources, online reading groups, articles and interviews, Illuminatus! info.
Friday, October 20, 2017
Re-reading 'Lord of the Rings'
Although most of the books I read are ones I've never read before, I do have the habit of re-reading books that I consider classics, or at least particularly enjoy. I've read Illuminatus! several times and other RAW books more than once. I re-read Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun about a year ago. And now I'm re-reading Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. (As I write this, I'm nearing halfway through The Fellowship of the Ring.)
There are references to The Lord of the Rings in Illuminatus! For example, Epicene Wildeblood, describing a review he is preparing for a book that sounds very much like Illuminatus!, proudly trots out the insults in the text, including, "If the Lord of the Rings is a fairy tale for adults, sophisticated readers will quickly recognize this monumental miscarriage as a fairy tale for paranoids."
Both "trilogies" are in fact a single literary work, published in three volumes for economic reasons. Both can be described as works of fantasy. Both have appendices. I'm just guessing, but I wonder if Wilson and Shea worked in references to Tolkien because they hoped Illuminatus! would become an instant classic on the order of The Lord of the Rings.
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Tolkien suggested that the blue wizards may started occult orders which survive into the present day, like the Masons and the Golden Dawn.
Jimmy Cauty (2023, The KLF, The JAMS etc) LOTR poster art:
When I read Lord of the rings in my 20s I thought it was OK. Disappointed that strider turned and Aragorn. When I read it in my 40s I thought it was awesome! Still disappointed in the strider thing. Recently my son and I tried to get through it, and we both got really bored, and we quit after Tom Bombadil.
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