The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick

The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick

Book - 2011
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"A great and calamitous sequence of arguments with the universe: poignant, terrifying, ludicrous, and brilliant. The Exegesis is the sort of book associated with legends and madmen, but Dick wasn't a legend and he wasn't mad. He lived among us, and was a genius."--Jonathan Lethem

Based on thousands of pages of typed and handwritten notes, journal entries, letters, and story sketches, The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick is the magnificent and imaginative final work of an author who dedicated his life to questioning the nature of reality and perception, the malleability of space and time, and the relationship between the human and the divine. Edited and introduced by Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem, this is the definitive presentation of Dick's brilliant, and epic, work.

In the Exegesis , Dick documents his eight-year attempt to fathom what he called "2-3-74," a postmodern visionary experience of the entire universe "transformed into information." In entries that sometimes ran to hundreds of pages, in a freewheeling voice that ranges through personal confession, esoteric scholarship, dream accounts, and fictional fugues, Dick tried to write his way into the heart of a cosmic mystery that tested his powers of imagination and invention to the limit.

This volume, the culmination of many years of transcription and archival research, has been annotated by the editors and by a unique group of writers and scholars chosen to offer a range of views into one of the most improbable and mind-altering manuscripts ever brought to light.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011.
ISBN: 9780547549255
Branch Call Number: 818.5407
Characteristics: xxv, 944 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.


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Oct 04, 2018

In 1984 I met with the first executor of the PKD estate Paul Williams in Glen Ellen California. Paul was working on finishing the work Radio Free Albemuth. Paul was also working on publishing a book railing against Bob Dylan's conversion to Christianity. Paul and I had a few disagreements as to where Dick was going with the God thing and Paul's somewhat unsatisfying ending won out. The Exegesis was in boxes in an old garage. I took home a few handfuls and began transcribing them. They were written in longhand, tiny script with side notes and were amazingly detailed. It was then I realized that my favorite author got a download into his head that he struggled mightily ever after to get onto paper to help him think about what he saw and felt. It was an amazing experience to have access to this raw material. I personally believed Dick to have found a belief in mystical Catholic Christianity, but this was shot down by all of his former associates. Of course every one has an opinion on these things. Dick was wrestling with God and his friends were teaching students how to talk to rocks. Go figure.

Dec 13, 2013

To understand a similar experience to his (of cosmic consciousness/god/ultimate reality/etc.) see the work of Walter Russell as his experiences are similar.

PrinceBishop Dec 10, 2011

You don't have to be crazy to attempt to read this collection of the ramblings of a speed freak---but it would certainly help. I read the first 40 pages and browsed through the rest. My advice is stick to the novels and short stories.


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