A very cool former student of mine kindly took a photo of this Italian cover of 'The Man in the High Castle' and sent it to me. 'La Svastica Sul Sole' roughly translates to 'The Swastica on the Sun,' a pretty good title all things considered. I tried looking up funny translations of American movie titles but I think these are all fake. I just can't believe that 'As Good As it Gets' was billed as 'Mr Cat Poop' in China, or that 'Three Men and a Baby' was retitled 'Marx, Lenin, & Mao Change a Diaper' (although that is an compelling mental image).
But seriously, 'The Man in the High Castle' is generally thought of as the novel that catapulted Dick into the world of 'serious' literature. To say that, however, is to ignore the amazing narrative structure in Eye in the Sky, the pastoral splendor and Freudian underpinnings of Time Out of Joint, and all of the early short stories, so I try to take a more nuanced view of his career, noting that there was some brilliant stuff written before it and some filler written after. But it is a damn good book, and I think it will serve as a good introduction to Dick's ideas for erudite snobs reading him for the first time in the Library of America release.
What's more, I think the dialectic Dick sets up between the two realities in that book - the one in which the axis powers won WWII and our world where 'good' triumphed over 'evil' - serves as a blueprint for all of his later speculation on what is real. His false realities are heartless illusions, devoid of empathy, often perpetuated for personal gain (as in The Penultimate Truth).
Later in life PKD was blown away by the relevance of the scene in TMITHC in which Mr Tagomi is fascinated by a piece of jewelry and after staring at it believes he has entered a different reality. During an interview when Paul Williams told Dick that scene really wigged him out, Dick suddenly saw the connection to his own 2-3-74 experience when he was transfixed by the delivery girl's Jesus necklace:
Dick: "Suffering succotash! Pardon me, I got off on what you were saying. I just... this whole experience of mine since March -- of integration, and discovery of another world and all of that? - came about as a result of that girl coming to my door wearing a piece of handmade, extremely, marvelously modern jewelry with that fish symbol [...] I never thought about it but [...] how else - what - what a - what - what does this mean? This must mean something."
(Only Apparently Real 138)