Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Following My Dick

With thanks to Blarg.net for the image. Which was probably stolen anyway...

Reluctant as I am to add to an already enormous pool of erudite comment about a great writer, my current library book is forcing me to say something. By use of the telepathic tendrils it has shot into my nervous system.

Of all the writers (SF or otherwise) I have read, the elusive and effulgent Philip K Dick possesses the rarest of abilities to surprise and confound at almost every sentence's beginning. I have read a great deal of his (and the word prolific doesn't do justice to the canon) work - both Iain and Iain M if you get my drift - and have been in love with most all of it. At the time and in retrospect.

At present, I am three quarters of the way through Flow My Tears The Policeman Said, and it feels (as it often does) that the writing starts to bleed into my life, in the same way that objective reality is always negotiable for the characters in Dick's books. We flit, with increasing unease, from the mundane to the drug-induced and back again, until we seriously begin to question our own sanity. Mostly because we can all too clearly identify with the un-anchored nature of our grip on this lunacy we pretend to be in control of every day. Slowly, we start to slip off, like the strings on Jimi's guitar, and a fight breaks out on the tube, and a lost person calls out too late for directions to Covent Garden...

I think it would be safe to say that Dick dabbled in psychotropic substances during his immensely complex and fruitful life, but was - crucially - able to write about his experiences with such terrifying clarity, humour and savagery. Anyone who has ever taken mushrooms or dropped a tab must squirm in their chair as they read some of the passages.

Now you'll have to excuse me as I have a date with a leather-clad bondage obsessed incestuous 6 foot tall twin sister skeleton who is lying on the bathroom floor. And I'm not sure if the mescaline has worn off. Cheers.

7 comments:

john titor said...

Dick's point about "The Empire never ended" is dead on, especially from my perspective.

Myeral said...

What will be the next comment on this post?

john titor said...

Have to be quick, there's one coming in from...an old English soldier? About sciffy? I'm sorry, this is analog stuff.

A Butlin's redcoat said...

Whoah! Thanks to Mr Myeral for sating the appetites of those who like a little sci-fi in their meat and potato pie.

Myeral said...

Proof positive for all to see.

I now have The Galactic Pot Healer because anything other than PKD would seem like an anti-climax. Haven't started it yet though.

Michael said...

I've never read any Dick (plenty of balls, though. Sorry.) As I'm currently too tight to buy any new books, I'll see if the library has anything in by him.

Myeral said...

Not sure how Latvia is for second hand bookshops, but you can usually get a good selection of Dick in many back street stores in London.