I’ve always been a heavy reader. I’ve also always had mystic/occultist/scholarly tendencies. Throughout my life I’ve scribbled themes and lists of books in notebooks and then carefully picked through libraries and books stores to find them.
In the mid-90s, I became inspired by Gygax’s Appendix N, and Crowley’s Reading Lists both in Liber E and Liber ABA. I started to consolidate the lists in all my notebooks. Any book mentioned in a book I had read (including advertisements) or was recommended went on the list. I slowly created (am creating?) a point system to deal with overlaps.
Of course, I started seeing patterns. Around the time, I was reading a ton of Robert Anton Wilson and the whole thing clicked in my head.
Anyone who has survived OM (Operation Mindfuck) from Wilson and his crew of Discordians can imagine where I ended up taking that journey. Anyone who hasn’t, well, I wouldn’t recommend it.
There are strict rules to the Bibliography and some of the rules are strictly arbitrary. It’s been a project of over 20 years and the subjective patterns have taught me much about myself and the way I think.
A fun little article that I saw posted by Jesse Walker over on the morothchuram Yahoo Group (yes, some of them still exist).
The other night I was battling insomnia by watching the 1964 Hammer Film The Gorgon. About half way through, a dying character bids farewell to his manservant with a heartfelt “Goodbye Hans”.
Around that time I had to stop watching. Bathroom break or cat fight or something. Maybe the wife woke up and I chatted with her for a bit. When I went back to my Nook HD to finish the movie I had lost my place. So I watched a different movie Seven Psychopaths, a black comedy released on Crowleymas 2012. I know of no reason for these two movies to have anything in common. Yet at one point, maybe halfway through, a character who is about to die turns to her reflection in the window and says, “Goodbye Hans”.
Turns out Christopher Walken’s character’s first name was Hans, a fact that I never paid attention to until then. Quite a cute little bit of coincidence but I have not run into that phrase since.
I devoured these 10 books in about a week and a half and recommended them to middle school kids for about 2 months after. Then I was done. No interest in the 2nd series. I had completion. It was a great run. I never felt dumbed down to, the concepts were equally something both my 42 year-old self and your favorite middle school-er could investigate. There is definitely a bit of conspiracy horror, but there is no overt racism or idiot “symbology”. That is still not a word, Dan Brown. After a good cooling period I went on to the 2nd series. No interest here, I’m afraid. The writing was up to par. I can deal with vague Modern World settings but vague Pre-Industrial, I lose interest. My fault. Props to all the authors that involved themselves with this project, you are mighty mighty unto the lore.