Monday, April 22, 2019

The Earth Will Shake reading group, Week Nine

 

"Dante and Beatrice", by Henry Holiday. Beatrice is the young woman in the center. 

This week, please read page 169 ("Sigismundo did not sleep the rest of that night. He prayed, or tried to pray") to page 186 ("And Maria knew that, whomever Papa married her off to, whatever else happened in her life, her days would not be those of an ordinary Neapolitan contessa."

I thought that Part Four, "The Priestess," was particularly good.

I loved the blunt description of "crushes": "His obsession is annoying because you are intelligent enough to know that it is more or less accidental: if it wasn't you, he would have some other girl to be obsessed with." (Page 177.)

Notice that a famous obsession is referenced in the text: Page 183 mentions "the Portanari girl from Firenze" and on page 184, "Beatrice" is told to run to Via Dante and get the doctor.

Beatrice Portinari is the woman who enthralled Dante and is mentioned in Dante's works. She lived to only age 25 in Florence (e.g., "Firenze.") She is arguably the ancestor of the "Miss Portinari" in Illuminatus!

I have remarked elsewhere on how Wilson's female characters are strong in The Earth Will Shake, and I think the real women referenced on page 179 shows Wilson's explicitly feminist intent: Women such as Maria Gaetana Agnesi,  Anara Morandi Mazzolini and Laura Bassi. 


Sunday, April 21, 2019

Times publishes Gene Wolfe obituary


Gene Wolfe. 

The New York Times obituary for Gene Wolfe has finally run. The paper did a good job.

Everyone who likes to read should try The Book of the New Sun.


Saturday, April 20, 2019

Why was Historical Illuminatus supposed to end in 1824?


The Theater am K√§rntnertor in 1830. It's in Vienna, and it's where the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven was first performed in 1824. 

We are currently reading The Earth Will Shake, the first of the three Robert Anton Wilson "Historical Illuminatus" books, the others being The Widow's Son and Nature's God.

But in fact RAW had been planning to write four such books; The World Turned Upside Down was announced but never appeared.

I've wondered what was planned to end the series and recently reached out to RAW expert Michael Johnson,  who kindly shared his insights.

Michael notes that in a 1988 interview with David Banton, RAW discussed his plans:

RAW: The Earth Will Shake, and The Widow’s Son.

DAB: Aren’t those two books part of a trilogy, too?

RAW: No, that’s part of a pentology.

DAB: A pentology?

RAW: Yes, that’s a series of five books.

DAB: And so far two of them have come out.

RAW: That’s right. I’m working on the third, which is called Nature’s God.

DAB: And what is the basic concept behind that series of books?

RAW: Well, that series deals with European, and to some extent, American history, between 1764 and 1824. That was a period in which all the rules changed, everything, the whole Western world went through a total change. We went from feudal, agricultural monarchy to capitalist democracy and industrialism. Everything changed, the style of music changed, we went from Baroque to Romantic, everything changed. Philosophy changed, it was in that period that David Hume’s books appeared, knocking the bottom out of all previous philosophy. Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations appeared there, the Declaration of Independence, of course. I’m taking that as a model to show how revolutions work. They work on many levels besides violent revolutions, there are non-violent revolutions, but they’re all tied together. We’re going through a period like that right now, and what got my started writing those novels was to give an example of a previous period that was as revolutionary as the period we’re living through; to show some of the general laws of what happens when society goes through rapid transition. We’re going through a dozen revolutions at once right now, too.

Michael also noted that plans for The World Turned Upside Down were briefly discussed in this interview. 

So why 1824? I don't know.

But one fact jumps out at me: That was the year when Beethoven's Ninth Symphony was completed and first performed. Considering the role music plays in the other books, Beethoven's ties to the Illuminati, etc., that is a speculation that make sense to me -- although, as I said, I don't know.

Friday, April 19, 2019

C.J. Stone takes on Discordianism


C. J. Stone

British writer C. J. Stone (Fierce Dancing, The Trials of Arthur etc. and numerous newspaper columns) takes on Discordianism and the British Discordian scene (including last year's Catch 23 festival) in a new article, "Christopher J Stone discovers that the crazy world of discordian philosophy contains some useful and enlightening truths, as long as you don’t take it too seriously."

He's more influenced by British figures such as John Higgs than by Americans such as, say, Adam Gorightly, which obviously makes sense in terms of proximity, and quotes some of my favorite bits from Higgs' novel, The Brandy of the Damned.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Kerry Thornley's 'How to Live Your Life'


The Discordian documents which fall into Adam Gorightly's possession seem to be in good hands. 

Self-help books and advice from others on how you should live remains an important part of the culture, as witness the success of figures ranging from Jordan Peterson to Douglas Rushkoff, so why not listen to what Kerry Thornley has to say?

Adam Gorightly has posted a newly-uncovered document, "How to Live Your Life," by "Jesse Sump," one of Kerry Thornley's pen names. The document, written before Thornley's sad decline, can be approximately dated to the late 1980s, says Adam, whose opinion matters more than most, since he has written two biographies of Thornley, both of them worth reading.

Most of Thornley's advice seems pretty good to me. Relating to entry No. 1: I can't seem to figure out how to search LiveJournal, so I can't give you a link, but I loved Supergee's observation that his grandfather said he could stay busy minding his own business 24 hours a day.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

On the road with Daisy



Daisy Campbell is hitting the road in a few days with her pilgrimage to CERN in Switzerland, and you can tune in starting April 19:

"...we journey to the very centre of the CERN collider (above ground!), which is the site of a ruined Appollonian temple and is - of course - guarded by The Chaos Killers Bikers Club (who we're still trying to make contact with - if you have any leads?)

Then at 2.23pm (CERN time) on April 23rd we Immanentise the Eschaton. Please help by going to your local sacred site and vibrating. 

And if you want to know what all this means (like we have a Scooby-Doo), then you'd better tune in to Pilgrim Radio...

More here. 

All of this will be broadcast live on Pilgrim Radio, starting at 19th April Bicycle Day 18:23 BST / 19:23 CEST.

Daisy says listeners can expect a  "mind-bending mix of music, pre-recorded gems & live Pilgrim News and interviews."

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Tuesday links



Julian Assange's cat.

Philosopher Agnes Callard on "51 Tips For a Successful Life." I emailed and asked if the censored sex tips are available privately and she said no.

Gene Wolfe has died. You can read my 2015 interview. 

Special edition of Erik Davis' upcoming High Weirdness.

Free course on Dante's Divine Comedy.   Thinking of reading the translation the professor recommends and listening to this as a podcast.

David Brion Davis was an important scholar on conspiracy theories. Says Jesse Walker.

Wikileaks confirms safety of Julian Assange's cat.

Ilhan Omar and the "outrage exhibitionists."




51 Tips For a Successful Life

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Earth Will Shake online reading group, Week Eight


Casanova. "An astonishing reputation as magician, spy, musician, seducer, alchemist, novelist, cardsharp, and master of conspiracies" (page 157.)

This week, please read from page 146 ("The crisp but sun-bright season of winter in Napoli was now upon them") to page 168 ("I will always hear that voice, my true father's voice, telling me to kill every aristocrat in Europe.") This for me is the most shocking passage in the book, and I did not look forward to returning to it.

Robert Anton Wilson shows off his knowledge of history, and not just in the passages about Casanova. (Beyond Chaos and Beyond has these sentences: "In later years what drove RAW to distraction was young editors who had no clue about the numerous historical references peppered throughout his books, particularly the Historical Illuminatus Chronicles. 'I don't have time to be their history tutor,' he growled in exasperation on more than one occasion.")

"the self-lacerating sincerity of St. Kevin..." (page 147.) An Irish saint, referenced in Finnegans Wake. 

"blue-eyed Normans," page 152. The Normans are famous for conquering England in 1066, but they also conquered southern Italy and Sicily, ending the Muslim Arab conquest of Sicily.

The Chapel Perilous of Cosmic Trigger returns (page 167-168). "It is very lonely, and very frightening."




Sunday, April 14, 2019

RAW letter to 'Hustler' magazine



A letter to the editor to "Hustler" magazine might seen like an unpromising way to find wisdom. Unless the letter writer is Robert Anton Wilson. Via Martin Wagner. (Larry Flynt was shot on March 6, 1978.)

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Welcome in the spring with Nick Herbert



It's spring, and "hippie physicist" and friend of RAW Nick Herbert (mentioned in Cosmic Trigger I and elsewhere) has responded with haiku:

FOR LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI'S
ONE HUNDREDTH BIRTHDAY

Rexroth, Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti
Without these
Frisco's just spaghetti.

FROM EX-WIFES'S OLD DAYBOOK

Fresh morning coffee
Birds singing in the trees
Taste of sperm on my lips.

FOR HIS SKILLED MASSEUSE

Nick's whole life has been
One long out-of-body experience.
Now this.

More here. 

Friday, April 12, 2019

A good 'new' RAW interview



Martin Wagner recently published a Dean Gengle interview with RAW, "The Future Created:
An Interview with Robert Anton Wilson," and it's quite good, not the same old things you've seen Wilson say elsewhere. Here is one moment:

Do you think of yourself as a “successful writer”?
Robert Anton Wilson: I have to. After all, if I don’t, who will? I have discovered that if one’s opinions of one’s powers and talents is too low, nobody will bother to correct it. They will say. “Oh. he’s one of the toads,” and walk all over you. On the other hand, if your opinion of yourself is too high, the universe will eventually hammer you down to a more reasonable estimate. So I never accept any limits until they are forced upon me and then I only accept them for today. I expect to be smarter tomorrow. Those who miss this point, or deny it, are by definition toads.
 
What is a toad, again?
Robert Anton Wilson: A toad is somebody who thinks somebody else is in charge. In other words, a toad says “I can’t do this. I can’t do that.” I always define myself and my friends as the Power Elite and assume we can make it all the way to Watership Down, or Big Rock Candy Mountain, or the Heavenly City, or whatever you want to call the next step in evolution.


Thursday, April 11, 2019

Quote I liked



All great art has about it an element of infinity and lives on in one's memory like a personal wound or a personal triumph.

-- Robert Anton Wilson
from "Fearful Symmetry: Reflections on The Silence of the Lambs," reprinted in Beyond Chaos and Beyond. 

Also, some news. And some comments from Glenn Greenwald. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Wednesday links


Ralph Metzner (Creative Commons photo by Jon R. Hanna).

The New York Times has now published a nice obituary of Ralph Metzner.   Not sure if its accessible for non-subscribers, but the Robert Anton Wilson obit from 2007 also is available.

Best Fan Writer nominee for the Hugo Award James Davis Nicoll on the Prometheus Award.

Radical cleric issues fatwa supporting assassination of foreign leader.

New catalogue of illustrated Finnegans Wake pages. 

Peanuts on the Law of Fives. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Oz Fritz reviews the new Crowley book


Aleister Crowley

At his blog, Oz Fritz reviews 93 The Aleister Crowley Primer by J. Edward and Erica M. Cornelius, and recommends it. Excerpt:

The 93 Primer has something for anyone with an interest in Thelema.  It can become an invaluable aid to those with little or no prior exposure to Thelemic philosophy.   It can do the same for anyone with experience ranging from moderate to extensive.  The potential for unlocking new keys, for pursuing new avenues of research in Thelemic study and practice seems just as unlimited and vast as unlocking new keys and gaining new insights to the human mind and nervous system.  This book rewards repeated rereading.

The book apparently is not currently available on Amazon, but here is a page for ordering. 

After I saw Oz' post, I wrote to him, noting that there's a fair amount of material about Crowley in Beyond Chaos and Beyond, the new RAW book. For example, there's a passage where RAW compares Crowley to Philip K. Dick as mystical writers, remarking, "they both fascinate me because they don't settle on any one explanation." Scott Apel then remarks, in a note, that Lawrence Sutin, who wrote an important Dick biography, Divine Invasions, also wrote a biography of Crowley, Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley. A search on Oz' blog for Sutin's name didn't turn up any mention, so I wondered if Oz had read it.

Oz wrote back, "I greatly enjoyed both of Sutin's bios.  The Crowley one was the first real comprehensive one that wasn't biased against him.  I recommend it highly.  Since then, two other excellent Crowley bios have been published by Richard Kaczynsky and Tobias Churton.  Sutin isn't mentioned in my blog because I read both his bios awhile before I began the blog and the books I do write about tend to be from my current reading."

Monday, April 8, 2019

The Earth Will Shake online reading group, Week Seven


Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), the French mathematician and theologian known for Pascal's Wager. 

This week, please read from page 127 ("The next week Frankenstein came to Napoli") to page 146 ("Well, I am Sigismundo Balsamo of Napoli, not the man in the moon.")

As with other sections of the book, I love the ironic statements, made with a straight face, made by characters who expect Sigismundo to read between the lines, i.e., Father Ratti saying, "We are most fortunate. The good Dominicans -- the ornament and glory of Mother Church and the model toward which all other, and hence lesser, orders can only aspire ... " (Page 131).

This sort of solemn sarcasm recurs in the book, as when Uncle Pietro says (Page 32), "The Dominicans act directly under the infallible command of our Holy Father the Pope, who is the divine representative of God on Earth. I meant no sarcasm. We are the luckiest people in Europe: where others flounder about in endless confusion and perpetual questioning, we have these good, holy men to tell us when we are thinking correctly and to correct us, with proper firmness, when we stray into error."

Surely people living in countries such as North Korea must know certain phrases that they have to repeat to demonstrate that they are loyal.

Pietro always expresses himself well, as on the next page (page 33) when he tells Sigismundo, "Leave murder to the professionals."

As I read the rant of the Dominican monk, going on for page after page, it seemed to be that Robert Anton Wilson had put together a long speech of everything that Wilson disagrees with. And so much of it sounds like what I heard from believers growing up in Oklahoma.

Sigismundo thinks about Pascal's Wager before deciding to reject what the monk says. Wikipedia says that Voltaire, one of Wilson's heroes, "rejected the idea that the wager was 'proof of God' as 'indecent and childish,' adding, 'the interest I have to believe a thing is no proof that such a thing exists'."

All of this seems very personal for Wilson, who had his own rebellion from the Catholic church, and perhaps also explains why Wilson related so closely to James Joyce.




Sunday, April 7, 2019

Prometheus Award finalists announced



[The folks to give out the Prometheus Awards have announced the finalist shortlist this year; I'm one of the judges that serves on the nominating committee. Some pretty good reading; I've mentioned some of these books in the blog. Here's the official press release. The Management].

The Libertarian Futurist Society, a nonprofit all-volunteer international organization of freedom-loving science fiction fans, has announced five finalists for the Best Novel category of the 39th annual Prometheus Awards.

The Best Novel winner will receive a plaque with a one-ounce gold coin. Plans are under way, as in past years, to present the 2019 awards at the 77th Worldcon (World Science Fiction Convention): “Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon,” set for Aug. 15-19, 2019 in Dublin, Ireland.

Here are the five Best Novel finalists, listed in alphabetical order by author:

Causes of Separation, by Travis Corcoran (Morlock Publishing) – In this sequel to The Powers of the Earth, the 2018 Prometheus winner for Best Novel, the renegade lunar colonists of Aristillus fight for independence and a free economy against an Earth-based invasion that seeks to impose authoritarian rule and expropriate their wealth, while the colonists struggle to maintain the fight without relying on taxation or emergency war powers. The panoramic narrative encompasses artificial intelligence, uplifted dogs, combat robots, sleeper cells and open-source software while depicting the complex struggle on the declining Earth and besieged Moon from many perspectives.

Kingdom of the Wicked by Helen Dale (Ligature Pty Limited) including Order: Book One and Rules: Book Two – The author, a legal scholar, creates a world inspired by comparative law, rather as Middle-Earth was inspired by comparative linguistics. In an alternative Roman Empire, an early scientific revolution and expanding free markets led to industrialization, the abolition of slavery, increasing wealth, and modernity - and to clashes with more traditional societies. In one such clash, a Jewish preacher, Yeshua ben Yusuf, is arrested and tried on charges of terrorism in a narrative that makes ingenious use of the Gospels to reach an unexpected outcome.

State Tectonics, by Malka Older (TOR Books) – This story explores questions of governance and legitimacy in a future world shaped by technology-driven “infomocracy” and subdivided into centenals - separate micro-democracies, each an electoral district with a  population of 100,000 or less. A multitude of political parties vie for control of each centenal, as well as global supermajority status in a problematic system where access to approved news is ensured by Information, which also oversees elections. In this third novel in Older's Centenal Cycle, various parties struggle not only over election outcomes, but also whether Information's monopoly will and should continue.

The Fractal Man, by J. Neil Schulman, (Steve Heller Publishing) – The Prometheus-winning author (The Rainbow Cadenza, Alongside Night) offers a fanciful and semi-autobiographical adventure comedy about the “lives he never lived,” set in multiple alternate realities where people and cats can fly but dogs can’t, which in one world casts him as a battlefield general in a war between totalitarians and anarchists. The space-opera-redefined-as-timelines-opera romp, full of anarcho-capitalist scenarios, also celebrates the early history of the libertarian movement and some of its early pioneers, such as Samuel Edward Konkin III.

The Murderbot Diaries, by Martha Wells (TOR Books) (including All Systems Red, Artificial Condition, Rogue Protocol, and Exit Strategy) – The tightly linked series of four fast-paced novellas charts the emergence of humanity, empathy, self-awareness and free will in an android, whose origins are partly biological and partly cybernetic. The android, who guiltily dubs himself “Murderbot” because of his past acts of violence while enslaved, fights for his independence but also is motivated to save lives by growing awareness of the value of human life and human rights in an interstellar future of social cooperation through free markets driven by contracts, insurance-bond penalties, and competing corporations.

(Note: Under a recently adopted LFS award-eligibility rule, two or more books can be nominated together as one novel if the judges determine that the stories are so tightly linked and plotted, with continuing characters and unifying conflicts/themes, that they can best be read and considered as one work. Applied this year, that rule combined the two Kingdom of the Wicked volumes into one nomination and the four sequential novellas in The Murderbot Diaries into one nomination.)

All LFS members have the right to nominate eligible works for the Prometheus Awards. LFS members also nominated these 2018 works for this year’s Best Novel category: Exile’s Escape, by W. Clark Boutwell (Indigo River Publishing); Gnomon, by Nick Harkaway (Alfred Knopf); Mission to Methone, by Les Johnson (Baen Books); Anger is a Gift, by Mark Oshiro (TOR); and Crescendo of Fire and Rhapsody for the Tempest, by Marc Stiegler (LMBPN Publishing.)

The Prometheus Award, sponsored by the Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS), was established and first presented in 1979, making it one of the most enduring awards after the Nebula and Hugo awards, and one of the oldest fan-based awards currently in sf.

For four decades, the Prometheus Awards have recognized outstanding works of science fiction and fantasy that dramatize the perennial conflict between Liberty and Power, favor voluntary cooperation over institutionalized coercion, expose the abuses and excesses of coercive government, critique or satirize authoritarian ideas, or champion individual rights and freedoms as the ethically proper and only practical foundation for peace, prosperity, progress, justice, tolerance, mutual respect, and civilization itself.

The Prometheus Award finalists for Best Novel are selected by a 10-person judging committee. Following the selection of finalists, all LFS full members have the right to read and vote on the Best Novel finalist slate to choose the annual winner.

For a full list of past Prometheus Award winners in all categories, visit lfs.org/awards.shtml. For reviews and commentary on these and other works of interest to the LFS, visit the Prometheus blog lfs.org/blog.

Membership in the Libertarian Futurist Society is open to any science fiction fan interested in how fiction can promote an appreciation of the value of liberty.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Two synchronicities



In one of his comments in the latest episode of the book discussion group, Oz Fritz points to a few sentences on Page 124 that talk abut coincidences. Abraham Orfali tells Sigismundo to pay attention to them and tells the youth, "they are a link between all individual minds." Sigismundo doesn't understand Orfali but begins paying attention to coincidences.

I don't understand coincidences (or "synchronicities") very well, either, but I enjoy them. Here are two I ran into recently:

1. I subscribe to a science fiction/fannish newsletter from David Langford, the British fan and author, called "Ansible," available here.  It's a great resource if you want to keep up with the SF world but are pressed for time and lots of time to fandom.

In the latest issue, Langford writes, "Francis T. Laney’s infamous 1948 fan memoir and polemic Ah! Sweet Idiocy! is the latest addition to the free ebooks list at the TAFF site: see taff.org.uk/ebooks.php?x=ASI for details and other material included." (There are lots of free ebooks of famous fannish writers there; Mr. Langford hopes you'll make a donation to the Trans Atlantic Fan Fund.)

I followed the link and downloaded a copy of the Laney book; I intend to read it soon. I've run across mentions of Laney's diatribe over the years, but I'm sure I haven't seen anything about it for years.

About a day after I downloaded the ebook, I got an email from an old friend, Richard Newsome, talking about fandom. "Maybe every generation of fans thinks its fandom is the last dregs; Towner Laney certainly thought so in the late 1940s. Have you ever read Ah! Sweet Idiocy! ?" Richard wanted to know.

2.  I recently bought a copy of D. Scott Apel's movie movie guide, Killer B's: The Hive: The 487 Best Movies* On Demand You've (Probably) Never Seen *(and a few TV Shows). 

As soon as I bought it, I went through it. As promised, most were movies that I've never seen, but I was reassured to see that it recommended a few movies that I had seen and liked, such as Dead Again, Zardoz, 2010 and Zelig. I actually saw Zardoz when I was in high school. I'm not sure I've seen it since then, or even thought about it much.

After I finished looking at Apel's movie book, I resumed reading the new Robert Anton Wilson book, Beyond Chaos and Beyond, and I came to the part where Apel talks about watching movies with RAW, in the "Introduction" to the "At the Movies with Robert Anton Wilson" section: "I experienced some notable failed attempts to introduce Bob to some of my own favorite films .... [RAW didn't like, for example, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery] And let's not even mention Zardoz, writer/director John Boorman's brilliant 1974 sci-fi satire."

OK, Apel likes the film so it's not too surprising he talks about it in different places, but what are the chances that RAW hated a movie I probably haven't seen since the 1970s?


Friday, April 5, 2019

Martin Wagner added to 'RAWnet'


Martin Wagner and his daughter. 

The Hilaritas Press website maintained by Rasa has a section called RAWnet which is fun to browse. It has minibios of various people who are "Friends of the Ideas of Robert Anton Wilson." If you read this blog, you likely know many of them.

Martin Wagner, who has done fine work uncovering "lost" RAW articles, has now been added to the section. I've noted many of Martin's discoveries here. The new entry links to Martin's websites and Twitter account.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

RAW interviews Doris Lessing



Robert Anton Wilson interviewed famed British novelist Doris Lessing for the December 1983 issue of New Age Journal. Lessing won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007. You can read the interview here.  (Update: The PDF has two different dates; January 1984 may be correct.)

Wilson writes, "When I left, I felt as I have very few times in my life -- when interviewing Bucky Fuller or certain physicists -- that I had encountered not just high intelligence but real genius."

Like RAW, Lessing was interested in the Sirius mystery, so the interview includes conversation about that.

There's a certain asymmetry to the conversation -- Wilson has read many of Lessing's books and admires her writing a great deal; Lessing shows no signs that she realizes Wilson himself is the author of dozens of books. Wilson was not really a famous writer whose name would automatically be known to Lessing, but still ....

The interview was acquired by Adam Ormes, who gave me permission to make it available here. Thanks also to Ted Hand for connecting me to Adam.

Adam Ormes explains,

"Having read Valis, The Cosmic Trigger, and Lessing's Canopus in Argus, I was intrigued by Bob's reference to his interview with Lessing in the introduction to The Cosmic Trigger. Having determined that it was nowhere to be found online, I then set about trying to work out which 'New Age magazine' he had meant. After deducing that he must have meant 'New Age Journal', as my searches had revealed the only 'New Age Magazine' in publication at that time to be a strictly masonic publication, I managed to track down its onetime editor, Peggy Taylor, who told me that the back issues were stored in her 'very full garage' and that at some point she would have a look for me. This was at the end of 2010. Alas the matter was complicated by it being a long snowy winter, Peggy's busy work schedule and frequent travels away from home, and my complete ignorance of when it'd been published. Then in late summer of 2018 I came upon a reference to the piece in an online biography of Lessing with the all-important issue number. This evidently made the prospect of looking for it far less daunting for Peggy, who then managed to find the relevant issue, graciously scanned the pages for me and sent them over."

Thanks, Adam!



Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Illuminatus! play performances



I've been reading Beyond Chaos and Beyond, and I've just finished a question and answer session in the "An Evening with Robert Anton Wilson" chapter. In one of the chapters, Wilson is asked about the possibility of an Illuminatus! movie, and he remarks the stage production has been done in Liverpool, London, Cambridge University, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Jerusalem and Seattle. Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Jerusalem were news to me.

RAW also remarks, "It should be done as a TV miniseries, and it's a little bit too hairy for television at this present stage of civilization in the United States."  All sorts of things are being adapted for miniseries these days; maybe the time for Illuminatus! will finally come.

Monday, April 1, 2019

The Earth Will Shake reading group, Week Six


The Temple of the Rose Cross, Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens, 1618.

This week, please read from page 105, the William Blake quotation (Cruelty has a Human Heart" to page 126 ("And then, Sigismundo throught grimly, the others will be ready to receive me as his successor." This is corrected from the earlier post, which inadvertently skipped Part Two. Thanks to Oz Fritz for pointing out my mistake in the comments. 

It seems to me that this novel is about Sigismundo dealing with Chapel Perilous. He is trying to figure out what kind of person he is going to be.

"The tyranny of the suffering," page 110. Isn't this where the Left goes wrong? Instead of ending suffering, the project of the Left often seems to be to impose a new tyranny.

Robert Anton Wilson on everyone's various hate trips:

"The drunks who came down here and burned and looted and beat up old men thought they had a good reason to hate the Jews, he reflected. My perfect devil of a father thinks he has most excellent reasons to hate the nobles. The Dominicans has intricate and theologically orthodox reasons to hate anybody who reads the wrong books. The Jacobins hate the king of England, and he hates them back. Everybody has someone to hate: it just proves that God's Creation is above all perfectly balanced and orderly." (page 119.)