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.
©2011 Philip K. Dick, Pamela Jackson (Editor), Jonathan Lethem (Editor) (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
“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)
Yes, as someone who has read over thirty of Dick's novels, I can honestly say that this book offers insights into not only The Valis Trilogy, and Radio Free Albemuth, but his earlier works as well.
Some may say that Dick is not only playing at being a prophet, but that he is actively revising the scope and the ideas that made his late work in the 60's - inducing such novels as Ubik, and the Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - so accessible and popular. There was always an element of Judea-Christian guilt present in his earlier novels, and anyone who has read his stories from the 1950's knows that he blended a sort of
Dick himself. In many ways this is a solipsistic journey, something that Dick readily admits to in the Exegesis.
He is able to capture the tone of Dick's thoughts, and reads them with aplomb. He does well in switching from the narrative, to the editors note - here his tone is mostly academic, but at times irreverent.
This is not a biography so much as look into a specific, and ever more increasing single aspect of Dick's life. I think the editors do well to include certain indispensable biographical details, but this really is not the focus of the work.
If you are a true fan, read it.
Digging through the mind of a, paranoid, drug addled mind can be rewarding at times. This, his personal notebooks, was an attempt to understand something extraordinary that happened to him and parts will be very disconcerting but, I can now say I understand PKD more than I ever thought possible.
This is rote, long winded, but if you are a superfan like myself I suggest you take the plunge. Just don't listen to it all in one sitting. I'm not sure that is possible, actually.
The narrator is a trooper. He did the best he could with the subject matter. You can sense he tires out by hour thirty five but, I'm will to ignore semantic details.
This made me look at reality as a very tenuous subject. I highly suggest it to fans of outsider art.
I don't mind Christian doctrine in the hands of madmen. A good soundtrack to this might be Danielson, or Linda Ronstadt (of course).
From 1980 to 1994, I was a local columnist for The Outlook, the daily newspaper in Santa Monica.
What is a garage philosopher? That label comes from one of the editors of the fascinating if quirky musings of Philip K. Dick. Known to readers and movie goers as a science fiction writer, this long and winding tome follows a different road. A dropout from UC Berkeley, Dick pursued his own independent studies in philosophy and religion. His Exegesis begins in the mid-1970s following a mystical experience that refocused the author's life. The journals follow his attempts to not only chronicle that life-changing event but make sense of what appears to be nonsensical. Seeking answers that may not be there to find, he reads the Jerusalem Bible and the philosophical histories of Will Durant. His interests range from the Jesus Freak Christianity of the 1970s to the Buddhist and Vedanta philosophies that were popularized in his native California. Slowly he develops his own theological viewpoint that informs the novels he wrote shortly before his death, which came ironically just months before the movie Blade Runner made him famous. The editors, who distilled stacks and stacks of handwritten journal entries into this book, readily admit that some of Dick's insights are screwy but others are profound and almost every entry is compelling if for no other reason than the passion the writer puts into his work. I have listened to this wonderful reading by Fred Stella over and over for more than a year and am still amazed to find new insights. Philip K. Dick may sometimes seem to be from another planet but he is never boring.
Seven years steady work in the writing. Three foot stack of closely scribbled paper. Visions in which he saw Christ and experienced the Holy Spirit as a fiery being. This mammoth work blends authentic Christian theology with visionary science fiction. Valis, the Cosmic Christ, generates Information which the Empire suppresses or distorts. We must be on the lookout for hidden messages imprinted on the world. Only these are the keys to power. Extremely deep learning in mythological and theological lore. This fifty-two hour blockbuster is PK Dick's exegesis, or theological analysis, of the scripture that was revealed to him by Valis in a hallucinatory vision, namely, the content of six of his most important works of science fiction.
I sell oil, in Houston ( go figure, right )... I'm not married, and have a son, trying to finish college...
frustrating trying to follow, didn't finish story.... Wasn't worth my time
It sounded like religious pandering
Testament the Holy book doesn't make good sci-fi. It's a good fantasy book, but a very hard read for me. Dick uses too many five dollar words and with inflation $50.00 today. the narration is good.
"Self indulgent drivel"
I am really sorry but after forcing myself to listen through sixteen hours of this self indulgent drivel I am forced to admit defeat and can stomach no more. If Dick's answer to life the universe and everything provided pointers for other human beings then maybe it might be worthy of completion.But these ramblings do nothing to enlighten the reader. In fact they simply provoke the response "for God sake haven't you figured it out yet!" Dick goes around in circles never realising the real importance of the event was that it wasn't important. The real significance of the event happening to him was, he isn't individually important. I can think of better uses for the RAM in my iPod! DELETE...
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