Sunday, July 25, 2010
Frank Bertrand on Galactic Pot-Healer
Veteran Dick-Head Frank Bertrand sent me the following post which raises some interesting questions about the narrow range of literary approaches currently being applied to Dick's irv:
My sincere thanks for posting the essay by Josh Lind titled: “Vessels of Spiritual Transformation” C.G. Jung and Philip K. Dick.” It’s the first one is quite a while that I actually enjoyed reading all the way through. Lind’s essay was cogent, relevant, and not laden with obfuscating academic jargon. Might this be the same Joshua H. Lind who wrote a 151 page MA Thesis titled: Expansive Reality and Restricted Desire in Three Novels by Philip K. Dick, that was accepted in 2004 at George Mason University?
Josh is correct to write “In fact, there have been no significant Jungian readings of any of Dick’s work – despite his documented knowledge of, and interest in, Jungian theory.” Some of this documentation would be that as early as a 6-7-64 letter to fellow write James Blish, Philip K. Dick writes “…as Jung says, by the unconscious, by your repressed hostilities,” to a November 1977 interview wherein Phil Dick states, “Yes. Yes, definitely. He [Jung] was a major influence on me,” and more recently in a 12-27-80 letter to Patricia Warrick in which Phil Dick writes, “I started out with Jung and Parsifal when I was 15 years old….”
The important and neglected question here is WHY have critics, academic or otherwise, chosen to overlook and/or ignore such an obvious connection between Philip K. Dick and Carl Gustav Jung? Is it, perhaps, not as fashionable and faddish as postmodernism, mysticism, and structuralism?
This seriocomic situation is reminiscent of a 2-1-60 letter Phil Dick wrote to Eleanor Dimoff, wherein he writes: “I call your attention to various critical articles on the novel, one by Trilling and another by José-Ortega y Gasset. It is the job of the novel to stuff up all the cracks in the walls, to shut out the “actual” world by being entire – and my novels evidently are not quite entire.”
Has anyone yet read an essay or book about Philip K. Dick that uses the literary criticism of Trilling and Gasset to explicate Dick’s fiction?
Again, why are the denizens of academia choosing to use only certain favorite critical concepts while putting aside much more obvious associations that Phil Dick himself mentions?
I really would like to try and understand this. Cogent responses would be most welcomed.
Yours in kipple,
Frank C. Bertrand
Thanks Frank! This guest post actually comes at the perfect time as I'm tearing through a four-week summer semester, preparing for a family gathering next weekend, and working on some paying gigs. And all this happens before I hop in van with Erik Davis next week for a two-day drive to Colorado for the PKD fest! So, gentle readers, ever wanted to see your name up here in lights? Now's the time to write a guest post.