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Philip K. Dick's Exegesis To Be Published In 2011 82

Posted by Soulskill
from the that's-a-lot-of-pkd dept.
Dynamoo writes "The NYT reports that a two-part edition of PKD's Exegesis will be published next year. This huge work, a combination of journal and philosophical treatise, has been published in part before, but this is the first time that the whole version will be made generally available."
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Philip K. Dick's Exegesis To Be Published In 2011

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  • wow (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Friday April 30, 2010 @05:01PM (#32050444) Homepage Journal

    I love Phil Dick's books. I've read the majority of them and even the bad ones are masterpieces in their own way. I have to say that I have mixed feelings about the Exegesis being published, because as interesting as it will be to read I think it is going to further tarnish his reputation. Phil Dick was the kind of person that was so smart that it caused mental disorder and he had some absolutely crazy beliefs. The Exegesis will probably underscore that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gilesjuk (604902)

      It didn't help that he and many of his friends were heavy drug users, so much of PKD's strange visions were most likely the result of drug use.

      That's not to say it won't be interesting of course.

      • by ClintJCL (264898)
        Most profound work that is imaginative is related to drug use.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by dubbreak (623656)

          Most profound work that is imaginative is related to drug use.

          While I not sure that's a good generalization, a lot of interesting work has come from people who actively used drugs. For example take a look at all the work done at SRI during the 60's: bit-mapped displays, collaboration software, hypertext, precursors to the graphical user interface and the first "mouse". According to the book, "What the Dormouse Said: How the 60s Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer " the team there all experimented with drugs. Basically it implies the modern PC and how we intera

          • by ClintJCL (264898)
            It gets more interesting when you watch the documentary (BBC?) about how many inventions came from Star Trek ... And then realize Star Trek was created on amphetamines.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Shatrat (855151)
            If they experimented with latin cuisine would modern personal computers be the result of tacos?
            I think that there is a flaw in your logic.
            • Tacos (Score:2, Insightful)

              by dontbgay (682790)

              I don't know, does the latin cuisine have hallucinogenic properties or the ability to alter someone's perception of reality?

              Well, aside from the spicy part. We all know about that.

        • by Shatrat (855151)
          There are some great creative minds who happen to use drugs, but if you don't have an imagination without using drugs, then you don't have an imagination full stop.
          I'm not an anti-drug crusader, but no matter what you think it won't make you interesting.
          • by ClintJCL (264898)
            If I think it makes somebody more interesting, than no matter what you think, it did make them more interesting to me. You see, this whole "no matter what you think" is kind of a fallacy. Interesting is subjective.
        • Re:wow (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Ephemeriis (315124) on Friday April 30, 2010 @09:12PM (#32052798)

          Most profound work that is imaginative is related to drug use.

          Is it the profound work that is imaginative that is related to drug use?

          Or drug use that's related to profound work that is imaginative?

          I've often found that the truly creative/imaginative folks have a hard time dealing with reality as it is, and frequently wind up self-medicating with various substances.

      • by Degro (989442)
        That's another big reason why our current war on drugs is such a shame (more of a shame is all the people dying over it along the us/mex border). If just cannabis and other unprocessed crops like shrooms, etc were legalized federally I think would be a huge boon for the country culturally. I know I've gotten some of my best ideas while high. I certainly don't enjoy writing code high, but I can continue to think about a project or specific problem after lighting up at the end of the day and usually gain s
    • Ditto. I just read V.A.L.I.S. and just from the parts of the Exegesis quoted in there it sounds insane and repetitive ("The empire never ended".) Even V.A.L.I.S. was sort of on the edge for me, interesting only because Dick is there to navigate through the madness with the reader and provide context and a counter weight. Can't imagine this will interesting unless heavily edited.

      • by abigor (540274)

        To be honest, for me the VALIS trilogy (VALIS, The Divine Invasion, and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer) are the least interesting PKD books. In his efforts to talk about the "pink laser" and Gnosticism, the storytelling suffered. Give me Dr. Bloodmoney any day.

    • Re:wow (Score:5, Informative)

      by lawpoop (604919) on Friday April 30, 2010 @06:26PM (#32051406) Homepage Journal
      Tarnish his reputation? Forgive me, but isn't he emblematic of the mad genius? I don't mean just eccentric, but paranoid nut-so. His work wouldn't be so great without that factor, I don't think.

      And for those of you who missed it, here's [scribd.com] Robert Crumb's The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by KliX (164895)

      Err, it wasn't smarts, it was a whole lot of speed that sent him nuts.

    • "so smart that it caused mental disorder"

      no, this is an exoticization and a glamorization, like "a beautiful mind"

      there are smart people

      and there are crazy people

      then there smart and crazy people

      its an overlapping of types, not a cuase or effect anywhere in there

      there is no such thing as smart -> crazy and there is no such thing as crazy -> smart

      the man was brilliant and gifted. he had also had paranoid schizophrenic tendencies. this was not a cause of his intelligence, or an effect, this was merely a

      • by abigor (540274)

        He also took a shitload of amphetemines (which produced every book written before 1970) and LSD, and smoked pot daily. I'm sure that helped.

  • by ig88b (1401217)
    When does the movie come out?
  • by astro (20275) on Friday April 30, 2010 @05:12PM (#32050562) Homepage

    I don't have sources to cite, but I recall when Radio Free Albemuth came out post-humously, that there was a stir that PKD had specifically stipulated that he did not want his works to be published after his death / without his approval. IIRC, his son approved the publication of aforementioned book, and like I said, there was quite a stir at the time.

    Is his estate profiting against his original wishes?

    FWIW, RFA was a GREAT book and I am glad it was published. Just wondering about the estate's ethics here.

  • I like PKD's work, but I'm getting negative vibes from this. L. Ron Hubbard "Dianetics" anyone?
  • Overrated. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by porky_pig_jr (129948)

    Not that I'm trying to offend Ph. K. Dick's fans, but IMHO he was just a schizofrenic. He does not offer any particular insights into the future. Yes, his writings are notably different from most of the SciFi garbage, but diferent doesn't mean better. It's OK, but would you expect any revelations from psychotic type of personality? I don't. Yeah, I read many of his books, just to see what's this all about. As I said, my only impression that he's quite delusional kind of person.

    Stuff I do like: Heinlein. and

    • Re:Overrated. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by thomst (1640045) on Friday April 30, 2010 @07:58PM (#32052304) Homepage

      As I said, my only impression that he's quite delusional kind of person.

      Having met him in person, that was not my impression at all. He was the guest of honor at Octocon II in Santa Rosa, CA, in 1978, and I happened to recognize him as we passed one another, him on his way back to his hotel room, me on my way to the convention floor. I stopped him by saying, "Excuse me. I hope I'm not bothering you, but you're Phillip K. Dick, aren't you?" He admitted that he was and stood there fidgeting slightly, as if impatient to get this little unwanted intrusion into his privacy over with, so he could be on his way. "Again, I don't want to impose on you," I told him, "but I've always wanted to ask you, 'Where did you come up with the plot to "Ubik"?' It always seemed to me as though you started out to tell one story and wound up with quite a different tale than the one you set out to write."

      PKD's eyes lit up, he became quite animated, and his tone of voice indicated that he was actually enjoying himself, as he replied, "You're right. I set out to write about a society where psionic powers - specifically telepathy - were developed to the point that they were routinely used in business for espionage and negotiation, and what the consequences of that would be. How they'd be regulated and licensed and so on. And then, about a dozen or so pages in, the typewriter just developed a mind of its own. It was automatic writing, really. I had no idea what was coming next, or how it would all turn out - I just sat there and let the story channel itself through me. I'd never experienced anything like that before, and it was really a very odd thing to witness!"

      I told him that "Ubik" was probably my favorite of his books, because it was so surreal, and so unique among his works, and he confided that it was one of his personal favorites, too. I think I mentioned that I felt John Carpenter should have credited Ubik for inspiring the scene in "Dark Star" where the acting Captain consults the frozen corpse of the ship's original Captain, and I probably could have stood and talked to him for another hour or so, if I'd cared to push it, but I really didn't want to impose on him, so I thanked him for his time and for the insight into his novel and went on my way.

      That was such a great convention.

    • Not that I'm trying to offend Ph. K. Dick's fans, but IMHO he was just a schizofrenic. He does not offer any particular insights into the future. Yes, his writings are notably different from most of the SciFi garbage, but diferent doesn't mean better. It's OK, but would you expect any revelations from psychotic type of personality? I don't. Yeah, I read many of his books, just to see what's this all about. As I said, my only impression that he's quite delusional kind of person.

      Stuff I do like: Heinlein. and S. Lem.

      So, just because he suffered from mental illness, he can't be a good author?

      I've never based my reading list on who writes the most accurate prophecies... Nor who has the fewest diagnoses...

      I'm just interested in reading a good book. And PKD certainly delivers.

    • by abigor (540274)

      He wasn't trying to offer insights into the future. So there's your problem.

  • He was a great author. I've read "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep" and "Ubik". I have yet to read "Scanner Darkly", "The Man In The High Castle", and his other great works.
    • by awing0 (545366)

      I have really enjoyed a few of his books including 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.' I definitely HIGHLY recommend 'A Scanner Darkly' and 'Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said'.

      On the other hand, I thought 'Maze of Death' lacked depth and was entirely predictable. I also didn't like 'The Broken Bubble', mainly I think because it deals with a lot of "human" issues and not much sci-fi. Possibly I didn't understand it.

      I'm slowly working my way through all his books I can pick up at the library. After going t

  • The Exegesis Lives (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fortfive (1582005)

    I love PKD works. Really love them--and V.A.L.I.S. is my favorite. I've read a few pages of the Exegesis, those published by the estate so far. They read kind of like Crowley's better works, some kind of hypnotic poetry. They help put me in touch with infinity and chaos.

    Regarding astro's comments, I can't think of a better way to honor his memory than to celebrate his work--all of it.

    Regarding his reputation being tarnished, well, whatever. The man was in a category by himself. The only other autho

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