Friday, April 16, 2010

Back in the Future


This week I taught PKD's 1980 short story "I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon" in my second-year literature course. The experience has reinvigorated my sense of purpose, and I've been thinking about some big changes I'd like to make to the blog. I've got the new kid, an additional class (due to a friend and mentor's grave illness), my band's playing out, and, subsequently, I can't keep up the Dick Head on a daily basis, and to be honest, for the next few months it will be difficult to post on a weekly basis.

As this site has become a great place for PKD fans to discuss the texts and media happenings, I've decided to invite a few readers and fellow Dick scholars to become contributors here. If you're interested in writing something or leading a discussion, please let me know. I'm thinking of remaking this blog more in the model of the Philip K Dick Society Newsletter with myself acting as the Paul Williams, editing and publishing work done by garage scholars and academics motivated by curiosity rather than currency. We've had great discussions about Palmer Eldritch, Maze of Death, Flow My Tears, and others. I'd like to feature more of these types of discussions, starting with "I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon" (also published as "Frozen Journey"). Get a hold of this story and I'll post some interesting discussion questions from my class in the next couple of days. Let's try to dig a bit deeper than this...

8 comments:

Mr. Hand said...

that's a great line, "It's almost like Dick had an Introduction to Psychology text-book sitting beside him while he wrote this one!"

giospurs said...

I think that this is a great idea. I'm looking forward to some insightful Dick discussion (although you may be setting the bench-mark a little low with that link to the Departure from Reality blog!).

Griph said...

I would love to contribute any way I can! I'll be getting my hands on the story, but for reference, here's some of my own relevant blog posts: http://www.griph.net/tag/philip k dick/ And congrats on the newfound purpose!

ct-scan said...

Sounds like fun! Had it of been a full book, I probably would't have been able to participate...life is also very busy for me at the moment (can't wait to get back down to a normal pace).

Fran L said...

Hi long time reader first comment I think however. Just to let people know that I found an interesting interview and article about PKD's literary agent:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/apr/18/andrew-wylie-jackal-interview-mccrum

It doesn't mention our favourite author but it sounds to me like this guy can only help PKD'S posthumous career.

palmer_eldritch said...

Emaileoration sent.

Joshua Lind said...

The first thing that strikes me about the story is that the play with reality doesn't seem the main point of interest. What remains stable is the guilt of taking life. The ship acts as an analyst to regress the protagonist to his past, but each angle yields the same result. Each possible past is reconstructed with this guilt as a fundamental feature. The irony is that the protagonist as a boy does not actually take life; he merely assists the cat in taking life. But this is itself a fact of life, predator and prey in an instinctual process. The instinctual process is marked as wrong, sinful. The drama of cat and bird stands in as a figure for all instincts, revealing man as inherently evil. The knowledge of good and evil results in the expulsion from Eden, the protagonist's endless suffering.

That's kind of a downer way to look at it, but I found this late Dick story far more bleak than his earlier work. The ex-wife offers some hope of solace, but there's little certainty he's escape the guilt of his memories.

robin said...

Just so you know... there are those of us who read your blog without ever saying much. But we enjoy what we come across. Thanks.