Monday, November 27

Lethem on Dick

(wow, that title is horrible!)

Considering that this blog takes its name from a Philip K. Dick novel, I can't let one pass on.

Author Jonathan Lethem has piece in The Virgina Quarterly Review that is an imagining of P. K. Dick's life shortly after publication of his first novel. Here's a taste of the piece, Phil in the Marketplace.
The one clerk stoops and picks up the book. “Hey, wait one cotton-picking minute. It’s got your name on it.”

“Yeah, I had that published, I got that published.” As if at his command, as if he’d flung the manuscript to New York with the same cavalier abandon as he’d flung the finished product on the music shop’s floor: Hey you! Publish this.

Flame Disc, by Philip K. Dick. Geez! What’s it about?”

What’s it about? It’s about 235 pages, Ted. It’s about I wrote six novels about guys like you and me nobody wants to read, Ted. It’s about what it feels like to dwell in one place and yet feel you should dwell in another. It’s about there are no mere happy clerks. It’s about the bright paper of its cover and the bright paper of my shelves of complete runs of Astounding and Amazing, the way my dreams got turned into something shiny and put on a shelf, and now I’m one of them, one of those science fiction writers. It’s about my sister, only you can’t meet her because she’s dead.

“Just some pulp crap. I wrote it in two weeks.”
You want a glimpse into my world? Go read it.

(via Boing Boing)