A number of Dopers have read Wilson’s books. Let’s have your book reviews, your thoughts on Wilson’s guerrilla ontology and how his stuff has affected your life.
I’ve been reading RAW for twenty years now. I’ve read Cosmic Trigger: Final Secret of the Illuminati about 4 times, and I’m now rereading the Illuminatus! trilogy for the 4th time. I won’t quit until I make it 5 times! (Fünfwissenschaft – just kidding.) I’ve read most of his books, but of them all the one that’s had the profoundest effect on me was Ishtar Rising: Or, Why the Goddess Went to Hell and What to Expect Now That She’s Returning. This book truly revolutionized my life and started me on a thorough revitalization of my whole intellectual/spiritual/sexual odyssey.
The reason I onto my current RAW jag was that I’d been reading James Joyce’s Ulysses and Finnegans Wake (at the same time!), and recognized so many writing techniques that Wilson had lifted directly from Joyce. I got an appreciation for how much homage Wilson has been paying to Joyce. Learning more about Joyce’s life, synchronous with reading Ulysses, helped me better appreciate Masks of the Illuminati when I reread it for the 3rd or 4th time – a book where Joyce and Einstein in Zürich, 1914 are major characters. IMHO, nobody should attempt Finnegans Wake without a copy of Wilson’s Coincidance ready to hand. He does a great job of elucidating a lot of the obscure allusions and symbolism, and shows their underlying structure.
I find myself disagreeing with about half of the things Wilson says. But then, he did recommend reading stuff you disagree with (to see what your reality tunnel has been filtering out) And “THINK FOR YOURSELF, SCHMUCK!” So by disagreeing with him I’m actually playing right into his trip. Clever dude. fnord