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Friday, January 11, 2019

Bob Wilson, 'amiable crank' [UPDATED]

A new book, Questioning Minds, reproduces the edited correspondence of two important modernist critics, Hugh Kenner and Guy Davenport. Hugh Kenner was a prominent James Joyce scholar (there are references to him at PQ's "Finnegans, Wake"  blog), and it turns out that Kenner knew Robert Anton Wilson. Here is a bit from the book, apparently from a letter by Kenner:

Have hooked onto an amiable crank named Bob Wilson, formerly of the School of Living in Ohio, now at Antioch Bookplate Company in Yellow Springs, O, who is loading me with Pound-Fuller-Wright-China-Korzybski-Gesell tieups. These Utopian absolutists make me nervous.

Hat tip: Jeet Heer, via Jesse Walker.

UPDATE: Here is my previous blog post, which I'd forgotten, on RAW writing to Kenner, and see also the comments.


supergee said...

Shit! $85. Two of the best critics ever. I'm going to see if I can get it from Interlibrary Loan/

Eric Wagner said...

I met Kenner in 1985 at the Pound centennial. I didn't know he knew Bob Wilson. I enjoy Davenport's writing more and more. He wrote some of my favorite essays on Louis Zukofsky. When I researched Joyce's influence on Bob Wilson, Bob recommended looking at the Joyce material in Kenner's "The Pound Era".

Great work as always on the blog. Our world needs it.

supergee said...

I was the first Anonymous commenter on the original post.

PQ said...

Love the quote re: RAW.

I managed to get a copy of this 50% off around the holidays. It actually consists of 2 ENORMOUS books, each over 1000 pages. Filled with insights. I think it's actually worth it. It's a beautiful collection from 2 of the greatest literary minds of the century.

Both writers were big into Joyce and FW (and Pound, obv).

Davenport's "The Geography of the Imagination" is probably one of my favorite books ever.