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Friday, April 12, 2024

RAWs 'Reality Is What You Can Get Away With'

So, I finally finished the new Hilaritas Press edition of Reality Is What You Can Get Away With. It's one of the few Robert Anton Wilson books I had not read before. The main body of the book is in the form of a screenplay, with two prefatory pieces by Wilson and a new introduction for 2024 by Joseph Matheny. 

It did not seem  much like a conventional screenplay, more like a montage of many of Wilson's concepts and ideas. For me, and perhaps other people quite familiar with RAW's work, it seems like a useful and inspiring summary, with a satisfying ending. Some of the depictions of the female characters do not age particularly well. Matheny, in the new introduction, hopes that somebody finally will attempt to make a movie out of it.  If that happens, it would be really interesting to see if people  new to Wilson manage to make any sense of it. I liked the book and felt like I got my money's worth for the purchase, but it probably doesn't rank as one of the most important RAW books for me. 

I liked the new Joseph Matheny introduction quite a bit, and I'm going to explain a couple of  his sentences for the sombunall of you who may not know his work well. He writes, "This work can be read as a novella  disguised as a fully functional movie script .... looking at it in this way inspired me to write a novella disguised as a movie treatment (the work that precedes a script) many years later." 

There's no further explanation, but it's a reference to Liminal, the first book of Matheny's Liminal cycle, which I recently read and enjoyed. It's $3 on Amazon. I read it as a digital horror story; it's been described as a "mind virus." I plan to read the other two books in the trilogy soon. 

I'm curious how Reality fits in the RAW canon for everyone else. 

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quackenbush said...
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