The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick

Just received my copy of the Exegesis of Philip K. Dick. Amazing to have this and to see so much excerpted (only a small selection was previously available).

Jonathan Lethem and Pamela Jackson co-edited this mammoth book (944 pages). It will take a while to get through it to say the least and I don’t anticipate reading it straight through, now or ever.

Two small surprises: some of the notes are provided by the philosopher Simon Critchley, which is nice, and the numerous references to Heidegger (I knew there were one or two but actually there are 18 mentions in the Index).

If you are unfamiliar with this strange “work” (it’s not conceived as a project but as a true project or process of writing, a hyponema as Foucault might say), it consists of the copious and ongoing writings that Dick created, often at night, in an attempt to explain to himself the meaning of certain events in Feb-March of 1974, and their possible relation to his own oeuvre. It’s about as pure a process of questioning, requestioning, starting over and interpreting as you’re likely to find, anywhere.

It’s not quite philosophy, fiction, nor autobiography. It’s PKD!


3 responses to “The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick

  1. Whoa! Didn’t know this was being published finally! Would love to chat with you about king felix and the black iron prison sometime over a non-blended (nor frapped/juiced/mixed) bourbon.

  2. Excellent! Glad to learn of local PKD appreciators. Only 40 pages in and already we’ve had Asklepios the Greek healer, the Cumaean Sibyl, etc. Simon Critchley offers: “it is significant then that Dick identifies his tutor here as Asklepios–as the god of healing–for perhaps we can think of the Exegesis as a kind of attempted cure of the soul.”

  3. I’m on page 150 moving sloooowwwly through, wondering where I am and what the hell I’m doing here. Fun!

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