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Showing posts from August, 2012

Her Stubborn Lights

My grandmother had her favorite chair she always sat in at her house, where she'd knit or watch TV, read, entertain visitors. It was a maroon wing back chair, with an ottoman before it, piled with her many hand knit afghans she'd invariably have her legs covered with, keeping her ankles high on the ottoman because of her varicose veins that tended to thwart blood circulation in her legs. She kept a lamp on a small table next to her chair, the vase of which featured a peacock, whose feathers would light up when the lamp was on.  She kept her steadfast glass of iced tea and reading glasses on that table next to the peacock, and whatever magazine or book she had.

The night she died, she was found, of course, unresponsive in her chair. My father, who'd checked on her that evening when she'd not answered the phone, called 911 but it was already too late. After the paramedics left, my father went through her house and turned off all the lights, because Grandma kept every ligh…

Masks of the Illuminati by Robert Anton Wilson: Not an Ordinary Mystery Whodunit

Masks of the Illuminati reads like a dark smart mystery -- a mystery penned by the combined and competing voices of James Joyce, Carl Jung, Albert Einstein, and perhaps, somehow narrated by (maybe astral projected by), above and beyond and throughout the sleuthing dueling clamor of its voices, the likes of a Tom Robbins. Which is to say the novel is zany and brainy.

That Robert Anton Wilson(RAW) could make so many disparate historical icons sound humorously real on the page is mystifying.  Did he journey back in time and tape record them?  That he could accomplish such a chameleon's feat without sinking toward what could've been easy-cheesy parody for writers gifted with lesser wit and talent than he, is a minor miracle.  That he could meld so many writer's voices, styles, syntax, biographies, world views (whether faux or fact) and have enough creative chutzpah left to make the farfetched narrative, in its entirety, coalesce into a plot that's wild yet cogent, always c…