Monday, February 16, 2004

Robert Anton Wilson's cultural influence

Jesse Walker writes from Reason Online that "We're living in Robert Anton Wilson's world."

The co-author of the Illuminatus! triology, he says, is "the unacknowledged elephant in our cultural living room: a direct and indirect influence on popular books, movies, TV shows, music, games, comics, and commentary. (His late co-author has left less of a mark: Many of Wilson�s books have cult followings, while the only Shea effort to make a big splash was the trilogy he wrote with Wilson.) Allusions to Wilson�s work appear in places both classy and trashy: There�s a Wilsonian stamp on films as diverse as Magnolia, The Mothman Prophecies, and Sex and Lucia, and it�s because of Wilson and Shea that the Illuminati, a secret society that once lurked only in right-wing conspiracy tracts, became the villains of Lara Croft, Tomb Raider. Now Wilson�s the star of a lively documentary, Maybe Logic, that�s being screened at film festivals and distributed on DVD."


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