Saturday, September 5, 2009

Excerpts From A Search For Philip K Dick

I have a fairly lengthy (and interesting) interview with Anne Dick posted on today. As part of my effort to promote Anne's revised and newly available memoir, I'll be posting some excerpts from the book here.

In this excerpt, Anne discusses the role of art and craftsmanship in her marriage to PKD:

I had been fascinated with all the accidental metal shapes and splashes that were produced while I was working on my welded sculpture. Lorraine and I thought we could turn them into an interesting form of jewelry. Phil encouraged us and bought me an anvil, a drill press, and a polishing motor. He built a well-constructed workbench in the utility room where I kept my welding tanks. He told me, “I don’t like to do carpentry. I made this bench extra strong so I won’t ever have to make it over again.”

Lorraine and I worked out wild new techniques for making jewelry using a tiny welding torch. We forged black iron bracelets with pearls set on them, made jewelry out of fire-glazed red copper and textured bronze, and learned to weld bronze rod into various shapes. About the same time I began to tile the master bathroom in our house. I bought different colored small tiles and made a mermaid, several fish, a cosmic eye right over the toilet, a boat, and a large sea serpent. It feels like you’re under water when you’re taking a bath. Phil wrote about this mural in We Can Build You. In that novel the bathroom tiling project is done by Pris Frauenzimmer, a horrible woman.

While Phil was writing, I was making jewelry with my partner, Lorraine Hynes, but we weren’t getting along well. Phil went back and forth between our neighboring houses, supposedly mediating, but somehow everything between us kept getting worse and worse. Soon Lorraine quit and I was working alone in my small laundry room workshop. To keep me company, Phil starting making some molten globby metal forms. He loved doing this. He made an irregular silver triangle and polished it for an hour on the buffing wheel. He described this object in The Man in the High Castle: “… a single small silver triangle ornamented with hollow drops. Black beneath, bright and light-filled above.”"

More excerpts to follow, but don't wait for me to get around to posting them, buy the memoir here.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your post. Unfortunately, the link you provide for ordering the book is dead.

Ragle Gumm said...

The link works for me...

Try that...

Robert Cook said...

The link worked for me and I just ordered a signed copy. I"m looking forward to reading this.

tuffy777 said...

thanx for the info and link
-- very informative about Phil's early career
~~ Tessa