Slate posted a short article today about the publication of the Exegesis. I have archived it on this site in pdf format Philip K. Dick Loses Touch With Reality.
I liked the article on something struck when I was reading the excerpt. The Exegesis consists of notes and writings that can range in length from a multi-page discussion to a tiny note on a scrap of paper. I was curious how the book captures this feeling if at all. I have flipped through it and noticed that it was organized into sections based on the folders Paul Williams put the writing into. That’s one thing that has always fascinated me about the Exegesis because it seems like it should be unpublishable due to it’s structure and I don’t think that Philip K. Dick ever intended to have it published. I believe he was using it like a journal but the book or notepad structure was not kept. I have found myself writing things out similarly to work through or think through issues I have had recently. My idea to do it came from his original work. And I won’t be trying to publish what I wrote in this manner.
I don’t want to dishonor anyone’s effort because I am glad it’s been published and the task must have been monumental to organize it so that it doesn’t seem like a bunch of writer’s notes strung together. Or another tack is to weave and edit all the text together so that it flows like one cohesive piece of writing. I hope this avenue wasn’t taken because I like the viewpoint that the ideas were explored and built up over time. From what I understand this is how the first publication from the Exegesis was organized. But I have heard that the compilers of the work intended to keep the integrity of the original writing intact. If anyone has picked up The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick and can help with these questions, please add a comment.
7 thoughts on “Exegesis Article With Excerpt”
I have a well worn copy of Lawrence Sutin’s edited In Pursuit Of VALIS: Selections From The Exegesis. It’s 278 pgs in length and he chose to group entries by subject, rather than chronological order. I think he did an admirable job. He is a lawyer by training, and has written the best PKD biography to date. Still a mystery to me why he wasn’t very much involved with the new version of the Exegesis.
As for what should be done, the WHOLE work should be published, in chronological order (in multiple volumes if need be), in that it’s a journal/diary, with careful annotations at the bottom of each page. The imperious Estate could use the monies from film royalties to finance such an undertaking.
I just purchased The Exegesis from Amazon earlier on Sunday. Super saver shipping of course. Should be here end of this week or beginning of next. Not sure when I’ll break into it, however. I’ll be sure to post a thought here and there… for what it’s worth.
Here’s yet another take on the “new” Exegesis:
And then there is Lethem’s perspective….on the “new” Exegesis:
The Profound Rantings Of A Sane Madman???
Found some cool stuff. Audio sample of Exegesis found here: http://www.audiobookstand.com/product.asp?AuthorId=1561&Titleid=33037
and a recent talk about the book by Richard Doyle found here: http://dynamicsubspace.net/2011/11/14/the-exegesis-of-philip-k-dick-event-at-los-angeles-central-library-tonight/
Here’s another good site from Richard Doyle: http://mobiused.wordpress.com/podcasts/