Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. Blog, Internet resources, online reading groups, articles and interviews, Illuminatus! info.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

More on RAW's mysterious unpublished Crowley book

Aleister Crowley

Saturday's blog post, about letters from RAW to Timothy Leary, mentioned a book about Aleister Crowley that RAW apparently wrote but never got published. I also published in 2013 a letter to Green Egg from RAW, referring to his "forthcoming book on Crowley."

After Saturday's post published, Jesse Walker wrote to me to share a little bit more information:

"From one of the Leary letters:

'The second enclosure, an intro to Crowley, is due for publication this Fall from Revisionist Press in Brooklyn, maybe right in them middle of the ILLUMINATUS! volumes. I think you will find much of this quite provocative of new perspectives.'

"Revisionist Press was Herbert Roseman's project. In the late 1960s, according to an item in *The Libertarian Connection*, it was going to publish three Wilson books; they never appeared. I think one was claled something like *Authority and Submission* and one was called something like *The Light in the Cave*; I can't remember the third. I once asked Wilson about those books. He said they didn't materialize because Roseman never paid him.

"I don't think they were ever written in full. It sounds from Leary letter like the Crowley book was. I'm gonna guess the material was eventually recycled in some other volume(s), but who knows? Maybe there's another unpublished Wilson book out there."

Jesse sent a followup email: "Correction: In the '60s, *Roseman* was going to publish those books; at that point I don't think Revisionist Press was a thing yet."

The Green Egg letter referring to the "forthcoming" Crowley book was published Feb. 1, 1974.

The "Dear Mr. Brown" letter Jesse quotes above would also seem to indicate planned publication in the mid-1970s.

I'm not sure what else is know about the Crowley book. RAW did a poor job of archiving his papers, so I don't know how much is available.


Van Scott said...

Way back when I first discovered RAW I went to the library and looked him up in a massive volume that I believe was called “Books in Print. “ I showed that he had published a book called “Do What though Wilt.” I don’t remember what year that was. Also, RAW mentions the Crowley book somewhere in Cosmic Trigger I.

Adam Gorightly said...

In my files I have a print out of a long Crowley article by RAW, which I believe I downloaded from the old RAW Fans website when Joe Matheny was running it. I don't think the article is online anymore, although I haven't looked recently. It probably could be considered a short book, I guess.

I'd have to pull it out to tell you exactly, but I think it was around 40-50 pages and was some of the same material that appeared in an article RAW wrote on Crowley for The Realist, although I think this printout contains more material than was in The Realist article. Not certain, though, it would take a little research to figure that out.

The Revisionist Press is an interesting connection because Revisionist Press published a very rare hard copy edition of Principia Discordia in or around 1976, and it now seems pretty clear that it was RAW who arranged this publication. This makes sense because during that period RAW was holding on to The Discordian Archives for Greg Hill, and so RAW would have had the original copies of PD that could be used for duplication. According to letters I've seen between RAW and Hill, RAW had the Discordian Archives in his possession between the years '74-'75

Jesse said...

FWIW his Realist article on Crowley is here: