Today’s random item from the archival holdings is a book which contains a brief extract from an interview with Terence McKenna. The Idler’s Companion: An Anthology of Lazy Literature (1997) is an edited volume which contains selections from the content-over-the-years of a British quarterly magazine called The Idler, which is dedicated to exploring and promoting the idle life:
Back in 1991, bored to tears by his job, 23 year old journalist Tom Hodgkinson lay on his bed and dreamed of starting a magazine called The Idler. He’d found the title in a collection of essays by Dr Johnson, himself a constitutionally indolent man. How to live, that was the question. How to be free in a world of jobs and debt? And curse this alarm clock…In August 1993, the pair produced issue one of the Idler. It had the sub-title “literature for loafers”. Dr Johnson was the cover star and there was an interview with magic mushroom guru Terence McKenna.
In case there is anyone out there who happens to possess a copy of the The Idler No. 1, this is one of the items that does not yet exist as part of the archives. So, if you do have a copy, it would be a great boon to the archive if you would be willing to scan the cover, table of contents, and interview with Terence and send the files to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, if you are feeling particularly generous, we would gladly accept a hard copy to add into the archival holdings.
The material contained in The Idler’s Companion was selected by founding editor Tom Hodgkinson and then Deputy Editor Matthew de Abaitua and only contains one question and one answer from the Terence McKenna interview, but it’s quite a nice little snippet. I’d very much like to see the whole interview. If you can help make that happen, please do get in touch.
TM: Institutions fear idle populations because an Idler is a thinker and thinkers are not a welcome addition to most social situations. Thinkers become malcontents, that’s almost a substitute word for idle, “malcontent.” Essentially, we are all kept very busy, and if you do have a moment of leisure time, then you’re expected to imbibe the sanitized data stream that the cultural imprimatur has been placed upon.