Masterfully edited by Dick scholar Pamela Jackson and Dick advocate Jonathan Lethem, the two meticulously sorted through a trove of unpublished material to eventually produce this unparalleled tome. “The Exegesis is a great and calamitous sequence of arguments with the universe: poignant, terrifying, ludicrous, and brilliant,” says Lethem. “It’s the sort of book associated with legends and madmen, but Dick wasn’t a legend and he wasn’t mad. He lived among us, and was a genius.”
Philip K. Dick, who died in 1982 at the age of 53, wrote for an audience who would appreciate his headlong dive into the metaphysical, philosophical, and psychological. Best known for novels A Scanner Darkly, The Man in the High Castle, and the Valis trilogy, Dick drew from his own life experiences when addressing the abuse of drugs and alcohol, the rise of fad diagnoses in paranoia and schizophrenia, and the counterculture. Evidence of his transcendental proclamations flourish today.
HMH is working with Bookpulse to create a social eBook app for The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick, which allows readers to share annotations from Dick scholars, connect with their favorite social network, discover other books by Dick, and interact with others.
Philip K. Dick’s daughters Laura Leslie and Isa Hackett oversee all operations of their father’s estate. Scholars and writers keep his ideas alive through their own interpretive undertakings, and filmmakers continue to bring Dick’s stories to life on the big screen. According to Manohla Dargis, chief film critic for the New York Times, the reason filmmakers are “attracted to Philip K. Dick’s work, beyond the brilliance of its ideas, is that his unembellished writing style leaves them room to make the story visually their own.”
Lethem, Leslie, and Hackett will appear at New York’s Union Square Barnes & Noble on Nov. 7 (7p.m.), the Los Angeles Public Library with Jackson and moderated by Los Angeles Times book critic David Ulin on November 14 (7p.m.), and Moe’s Books in Berkeley, California, with Jackson on November 22 (7:30p.m.).
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