Wednesday, April 4, 2007
"This is what my acosmic ten-volume unique meta-novel deals with."
I was browsing the collection of pages from the Exegesis posted over at philipkdick.com and while I normally don't have much interest in these writings, I thought this one was remarkably focused and insightful as well as relevant to the last post on The Penultimate Truth. I think Dick is referring to ten of the fifteen novels he composed in quick succession between 1961 and 1966 (eight of which I believe Disch lists in the post below) as "acosmic [I cannot determine whether acosmic is a typo or intentional - perhaps functioning like "atypical"] ten-volume unique meta-novel." What Dick seems to be saying on this page is that the cumulative truth of these novels is that our reality is an illusion projected over a dead world. Dick is equating destiny (heimarmene is the term from Gnosticism Dick uses), with a kind of computer program, a reality projected over truth; our reality is stored on and generated from a tape recording -- If Dick were alive he would have loved "The Matrix" but would probably have several lawsuits filed against the Wachowski Brothers; they stole all of his ideas.
Of course he'd be wearing this!
Freud, who saw a deep connection between narcissism and paranoia, would certainly have taken note of the incredible self-importance displayed in Dick's perspective. Note how everyone but Dick is fooled by an illusory world that somehow he has recognized as false. Many authors, (Sutin, and Carrere to name just two) have noted the remarkable similarities between Dick's delusions and the psychosis of nineteenth century German Judge Daniel Paul Schreber who believed God wished to turn him into a woman so that God's rays could fertilize him with spore-like salvation maggots.
While many view the Exegesis, Dick's four thousand page chronicle of his "mystical experiences" and his subsequent efforts to understand what had happened to him, as prophetic, I read The Exegesis as evidence of the obsessional strength of Dick's desire to ultimately understand what happened to him -- An all consuming and, ultimately, futile fight to rationalize something irrational.
What do you think of the Exegesis?