Sunday, June 10, 2007
Cover of the Day: Secondary Sources
Last Friday I raided San Francisco State University's library looking for secondary sources to consult in preparation for my blogging of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch and found this. I don't think I've ever heard of the Starmont Readers Guide (are all the author's heads disembodied on these covers or just PKD's?). This book appears to be Hazel Pierce's doctoral dissertation published in September of 1982. Here's a review of Pierce's book. If you want to buy the book be prepared to shell out some serious cash. It's basically a short critical guide to Dick's work written when it was still quite difficult to find many of his books.
Pierce's guide does in fact have a chapter on The Three Stigmata but I got sidetracked reading her chapter-long overview of Dick's career. Pierce argues that Dick's irv needs to be subdivided into smaller subsets of novels and then proceeds to summarize some of the groupings of Dick's work that have already been suggested, mentioning one of the first serious academic examinations of Dick's work, Angus Taylor's 33 page essay "Philip K Dick and the Umbrella of Light" which I had never read. Luckily the pdf file is posted on PhilipKDickFans.com. Further surfing took me to Umberto Rossi, Andrew M. Butler, and Salvatore Proietti's Vast Active Living Bibliographic Section from which I compiled the following list of articles to track down on The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch:
Borel, Yogi [Leland Sapiro] 1967. “A Satanic Bible” [Review of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich], Riverside Quarterly, 3:1, pp. 69-73.
Halper, Philip 1989. “The Three Stigmata of Philip K. Dick”, The Hardcore, # 3, n.p.
Miller, Peter Schuyler 1965. [review of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich] Analog, August, pp. 152-53.
Stableford, Brian 1979. ----. "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch", Survey of Science Fiction Literature, ed. Frank N. Magill. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Salem Press. Vol. 3, pp. 2269-73.
Svedjedal, Johan 2001a.”Ergodic Nightmare - The world of choices in Philip K. Dick's The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch” [English version of Svedjedal 2001a], Human IT # 2-3, pp. 207-232 (available online)
Williams, Paul 1975a. 1979b. "Introduction", in Philip K. Dick, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Boston: Gregg Press, pp. v-xx.
This is only the beginning. Does anybody have the volume of letters from 1963-1966 which might include letters in which Dick mentions The Three Stigmata?
In a recent email, A Scanner Darkly producer Tommy Pallotta, told me The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch was the first PKD book he ever read. Pallotta also told me about his mentor Louis Mackey, a philosophy professor who covered Dick in classes and wrote about him in the Philip K Dick Society Newsletters. Hearing this, I finally decided to buy the entire collection of newsletters from The Phil Dickian.com.
Sadly, I've heard from a number of sources that the Society's founder Paul Williams injured his frontal lobe in a cycling accident and has had trouble recovering. When I attempted to contact Paul recently to introduce myself my message bounced back to me as undelivarable. I don't think it's possible to overstate the positive contributions Williams made to Dick's legacy as his friend and literary executor.