First Graf: The Illuminati Papers

THE LATE ROBERT ANTON WILSON is perhaps the greatest influence on my life and thought since even before Rabbi Akiva. His spirit is sprinkled here and there throughout this blog like raisins in a cake. A prolific author, RAW (as he’s known) wore many literary caps: conspiracy chaser, little-L libertarian, mind-expansionist, novelist, futurist, comedian, neophile, mystic, poet, prophet. One of his more eclectic books is The Illuminati Papers — a collection of essays, rants, and excerpted interviews (with titles like “The Abolition of Stupidity,” “Ten Reasons to Get Out of Bed in the Morning” and “Beethoven as Information”), some written by the characters in RAW’s epic Illuminatus! trilogy, that will leave you scratching your head and wondering, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Herein is the scene-setting First Graf of the intro to The Illuminati Papers’ 1997 edition:

This book dates from a barbaric, almost pre-historic age — over twenty years ago. You will realize how far back in the abyss of time that near-Feudal epoch looks in retrospect when I tell you that I wrote the entire manuscript on a typewriter. Of course, we had electric lights instead of candles, and the “horseless carriage” had come into general use, but otherwise the so-called advanced nations remained in a primitve industrial economy and few could see the Information Age dawning.

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