Wednesday, November 23, 2011

About Last Night

From the left: Pamela Jackson, Me, Jonathan Lethem (I kinda feel like we're all so famous I shouldn't even have to tell you who's who!)

Well gentle readers, I went and had another magical Dick experience last night (oh, the Google hits I will get for that). Regular reader Ted Hand and I met a few other Dick-heads for dinner before heading to Moe's Books in Berkeley for a big Exegesis event.

It was a pretty big deal with at least 100 people in the store. It was standing room only and I heard they sold something like 80 copies of the book!

Pictured left to right: Erik Davis, Laura Leslie, Pam Jackson, Jonathan Lethem, Isa Dick-Hackett

The guests of honor were: Jonathan Lethem, Pamela Jackson, Erik Davis, and Dick's daughters Laura and Isa. There were people filming there last night and I have their email so I think I'll wait on providing in-depth coverage. Lethem did a great job of explaining the origins and significance of The Exegesis and Pamela Jackson filled us in on the process itself. For me, there wasn't a whole lot of new info. But stay tuned for the video, I figure you'll enjoy it. For now, you can listen to a podcast of the LA Event here.

Incredibly poorly composed picture that does little to convey the size of the crowd. But check out dude's shades.

Afterwords, we went to a smaller party and had a really good time. Like that line from Parsifal, time was turning into space all around us. Lethem had worked at this exact bookstore for years, and now he was returning with success he probably couldn't even imagine back then. I know I have lots of fantasies where I go back to some crummy record store where I used to work, but now I'm rich and powerful. It sure seems like it would feel good, but who knows? And of course we were only a couple blocks from Herb Hollis' record store where Phil used to work and first came into his own.

Anytime you get that many Dick-heads together it's almost like the collective energy somehow substantiates the man. You certainly couldn't look around that room of people and have any doubt that Dick's work has touched people and changed their lives. And when you get us serious folks together, those of us who have dedicated decades to our obsession, it's just really inspiring, almost magical. Our private worlds, the spaces in our minds inhabited by the things we covet, suddenly finding a shared interest, open up in a really beautiful way. I mean, my wife is pretty sick of hearing me talk about Phil Dick, and she hasn't read all the books and doesn't know the mythos. Anyway, my hyperbole is starting to ramble.

What I'm trying to say is that it sure is fun talking to people who find the same value in Dick's life and work. It makes me feel like dedicating two decades to the study of his life was a good thing. And for a while I hadn't really been feeling like that. So, good to know.

Now, quickly on to other topics:

1) We made boingboing!
2) The Guardian reviewed The Exegesis
3) Amazon says The Exegesis is "under review" -- WTF?
4) You can now get the Prophets of SF episode about PKD on Amazon
5) All the cool Dick-heads are tripping on this really amazing PKD interview!


Mr. Hand said...

I had a great time too, although not a whole lot of new info for me either. But I was interested in the form the explanations took and I'll try to write a useful summary.

ZenWoman said...

DG, thanks for sharing the pics and your thoughts. That is a great turn-out and selling 80 copies is remarkable, as one who has hawked books. I love the bit about Lethem going back to the place he once worked -- must feel awesome!

As for the checklist: Viral pepper-spray meme on BoingBoing (viewed and appreciated), Guardian article read plus posted chunks in the Secret PKD place on Fbook ;) WTF about AMZN?? agreed; been there, done that last week on the Science channel's PKD episode (it was fair, good for a newbie, maybe); totally tripped out on the Platt reference interview for DreamMakers (paperback is in my hand NOW and get this, it's SIGNED by Platt! I didn't even know that until this moment! Generic sig.)

NOW, back to Exegesis reading until the next wave of video or audio hysteria ;) THX again, Gill!

Lord Running Clam said...

We all wished we could be there for this event and that there was 100 people there is inspiring! It's too late for you, David, 2 decades means a lifelong obsession!

Joshua Lind said...

Awesome. For those of us whom civilization has overlooked, it is nice to take part virtually in this kind of event.

Henri said...

Hi David,

I think was sitting next to you at the book event but did not recognize you...


Der Zorn Gottes said...

Re: of the reviews had it classified as a "novel" and wouldn't let up about it being a novel. And I wonder if a) the person had even read it and b) Amazon had previously had it classified somewhere on the page incorrectly as a piece of fiction. Did anyone notice this before the disclaimer got put up? I presume it will be fixed quickly.