"Against the epic backdrop of the French and American revolutions, the inimitable RAW lays bare the secret history of the Enlightenment, while almost casually re-inventing the historical novel in the process. The result is a heady, psychedelic brew of satire, intrigue, magic, high adventure and life-changing philosophy, seasoned with the wry, compassionate humanism which is Wilson's trademark. Astonishing and unforgettable."
– Grant Morrison, New York Times best-selling author, Comics Legend,
Chaos Magician, creator of The Invisibles and other great graphic novels
Links to each book's sales page on Amazon:
The Earth Will Shake
The Widow's Son
The last months of working on The Historical Illuminatus Chronicles have been exciting for the model agnostic editorial detectives at Hilaritas Press. Chas Faris, Gary Acord and Greg Arnott offered their masterful sleuthery skills with editing and proofing. RAW Trust Advisors Michael Johnson, Eric Wagner, Bobby Campbell, Tom Jackson, Nick Helweg-Larsen, and Toby Philpott offered advice on a wide variety of topics, such as punctuation typos, missing prepositions, deSelby's madness and 18th century bed springs. We dug deeply into the worlds Bob created in the Chronicles. We found mosbunall typos from previous editions – probably not all, as proof-reading seems to be non-simultaneously apprehended. It is possible there will be something one of you will discover that we missed. Let us know if you do!
As for what's new about these Hilaritas Press editions of the trilogy, aside from fixing typos and redesigning the interior layout, we have two significant additions:
The new covers from Scott McPherson at amoeba bring a level of detail and artistry that, seems to us, perfectly matches the care and imagination RAW brought to the story. When Scott sent us the first proofs last April, he included the following note:
I went for a bold Iconic hand printed stamp motif over fragmented scraps of hand drawn sigils, notes and ideas, like Sigismundo would have in a sketch book, that evolves as a triptych for the three volumes. I've drawn and written key elements from each book. I have used hand drawn text and real Masonic & magical printer's stamps from my collection for the covers. There are montaged 17th century maps of Italy, Paris and the colonies for underlay graphics. There is also the musical theme throughout for which I've sourced original Mozart hand drawn scores.
I wrote him back and told him we loved the new covers, and added, "The hand drawn title text is beautiful and captures the urgent and chaotic feel of the storyline. The level of detail in the sketchpad motif is brilliant and indeed reflective of something Siggy would pen. I think people pausing in their reading will close the book and feel the cover fits perfectly with what they’ve just read."
Click over to Hilaritas Press to see all three new covers!
We suspect some alchemy may be involved in Scott's amazing balance of chaos and order.
Gracefully side-stepping the potential issue of obtaining the rights to Bobby Campbell's interior illustrations used in previous editions of the Chronicles, we asked Bobby if he might be inspired to make new illustrations for these new editions of The Earth Will Shake, The Widow's Son and Nature's God. And we were not disappointed!! Here's one of Bobby's new illustrations, this one from The Widow's Son:
I asked Bobby if he might write a few words about the new illustrations. In response he sent an illustrated story that we decided to make into our current Amor et Hilaritas blog post.
Here's the text in the beginning of the article:
The first time I read The Earth Will Shake was during a Quantum Psychology course taught by Robert Anton Wilson at the Maybe Logic Academy. A book that is most certainly mind-blowing enough by itself, but having recourse to Uncle Pietro himself really upped the intensity!
That same week I was listening to an audiobook version of James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and had the strange experience of finding the same scene repeat in both books merely hours apart. I had just read about Sigismundo Celine being indoctrinated into the Catholic version of hell, only to then hear tell of Stephen Dedalus experiencing the same initiation, one that I’d gone through myself as a kid. RAW confirmed my synchronicity:
“No writer ever knows consciously all the influences on his work
but I did know the influence of Portrait of the Artist on Earth Will Shake
& two others you didn’t mention:
Huckleberry Finn by Twain and
Intruder in the Dust by Faulkner
Replace religious bigotry with racism
and you’ll see the Mississippi/Napoli parallels”
I promptly listened my way through The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and confirmed I did indeed see the similarities, along with a general theme running through all three books of a cosmic coming of age, implying, but not quite saying, at the age of 23, that it felt like I was currently living one of those stories in real life.
“Huck Finn decides that even if hell exists,
he’d rather go there than send Jim back to slavery
the most moving scene in American literature to me;
I can’t even write this brief summary of it without tears coming
Siggy makes a similar choice
but I’m not as good a writer as Twain”
I respectfully contended with that last assertion :)))
this is a snippet without illustrations
click here to read the whole article with illustrations
If you have never read the Chronicles, I'm jealous. But I know from recently rereading them that it's a mind-bending adventure well worth experiencing again! We hope you enjoy RAW's transcendental story-telling as well as the love and incredible energy that went into creating these new editions that we think would make the author's eyes twinkle with delight.
Find the Others Department:
Plan a trip to Pittsburgh on July 27-29 for CONFLUENCE featuring Robert Anton Wilson in 2018, with Tom Jackson, Greg Arnott, Bobby Campbell and more! Bobby Campbell's illustrations for the new Hilaritas Press editions of The Historical Illuminatus Chronicles will be part of Bobby's art exhibition at the conference.
Tom Jackson writes,
Confluence will be the only place to view Bobby's new Chronicles Illustrations in North America during 2018. Bobby also will give a presentation at the convention. There will also be informal RAW-fan events nearby, open to everyone, without the need for a Confluence membership. If you think you might be able to attend, feel free to contact me on Twitter, @jacksontom.
Don't miss this RAW-Month celebration! (uh, did I just create "RAW-Month?" We're not sure about specific RAWDAY celebrations for the 23rd, so let's just go with RAW-Month for now.)
As always, lots of love and lasagna to you all!
Rasa with Christina and Olga
Scroll below the FNORD for a special message from Christina!