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!
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!