Friday, May 11, 2007

Posthumous Interviews and Stage Appearances

In the spirit of recent posts examining Dick's posthumous appearances in other author's fiction, I did some research into posthumous interviews with PKD. One of my favorites was written by Dick-head extraordinaire (and author of Techgnosis) Erik Davis who explains the circumstances of his interdimensional dialog:

"I was recording the analog noise between tracks on a scratchy old copy of Karl Muck conducting Parzifal with the Bayreuth Festival Chorus onto a cassette tape. Then I would cut, splice, and process the tape in various ways, and then listen to the results. On the third attempt I heard a voice that I recognized, from a tape once available through the Philip K. Dick Society, as belonging to the late science fiction writer. More incredible was my discovery that, by recording my own questions on the same cassette tape, I was able to initiate a genuine dialogue with this mysterious voice. Subsequent research proved, however, that all of the quotations have already made an appearance somewhere in Dick's fiction, letters, or essays. Nonetheless, the conversation seems worth presenting:

ED: How exactly would you characterize [your] novels?

PKD: My writing deals with hallucinated worlds, intoxicating and deluding drugs, and psychosis. But my writing acts as an antidote, a detoxifying, not intoxicating, antidote.

ED: After years of neglect, most of your books are back in print. Even so, you remain best known as the guy who wrote the book they based Blade Runner on.

PKD: I've been calling it "Road Runner."

ED: Heh. What did you think when you first saw that rainy, claustrophobic cityscape?

PKD: I thought, by God, these guys have figured out what life is going to be like forty years from now. My God! It's like everything you hate about urban life now, escalated to the level of Dante's Inferno. You can't even run in the future, there's so many people milling around, doing nothing.

ED: Today it seems as if your work will live on through the movies. How was your own experience working with Hollywood?

PKD: They buy and sell human beings. It's like it says in the Bible about Babylon, they sell pearl, ivory, and the souls of men. And that is exactly what it going on in Hollywood, they deal with the souls of human beings."
Read the rest...
Philip K Dick can be charming from beyond the grave by proxy!
But he's not just doing interviews; he's done some off, off Broadway dinner theatre. Over at The Philip K Dick Bookshelf I spied this small press publication:
Kindred Blood in Kensington Gore
Philip K Dick in the Afterlife: An imaginary conversation
By Brian W Aldiss

It's described over at as:
"...24 pages long, and consists of a 5000 word playlet involving just two characters - the spirit of Philip K Dick (ten years after his death, now resident in London near the Albert memorial), and a woman variously identified as his twin sister Jane, his father Edgar, and VALIS. The play was first performed in October 1991, with Petronilla Whitfield as the woman and Aldiss himself playing the part of Dick. I saw a subsequent performance (with the same actors) at the Institute for Contemporary Arts in London in March 1992."

PKD is even reanimated in silly little movie reviews like this one for 'Next':
"[Dick] might have been the man to sit Nicolas Cage down - probably with a largish bottle and a coffee table covered in expensive, paranoia-inducing pharmacological treats - and demand to know if Cage honestly expected the second half of his career to unfold with the same lazy, by-the-numbers ease as the first half. He might have asked Cage if he really thought the powers that be would let him get away with another two decades of intermittent decent performances like, say, Leaving Las Vegas, surrounded by heavy servings of the same old action-hero crap like he's been doling out recently."

So let's recap. When PKD isn't manifesting himself on magnetic tapes, he's onstage speaking with an English accent of unknown origin, or sitting Nic Cage down to jump start the aging actor's mid-life crisis over pharmaceuticals. Busy man.

And the location of Android-Dick's missing head remains unknown....

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