For now I’m leaving MORE FEMINISM on top of this blog because of the awesome response. Please keep it going. The photo is from right around the corner from where I live—3rd district, Vienna. The message has since been painted over but it lives on online where it has probably been seen by many more people than ever saw it in my neighborhood, so that’s great.
Also blogging at: http://keithmcgowan.wordpress.com
How to Cook and Eat Children: French
My small French website for How to Cook and Eat Children—Comment Cuisiner et Dévorer Les Enfants.
Four Songs For Writers: SONG #1
A Scanner Darkly and Philip Dick
I’ve been reading Philip Dick all my life and I’ve read a lot of his books, some of them multiple times. I love many of them. But I wanted to recommend A Scanner Darkly to anyone who hasn’t read it. For me, it stands right beside Middlemarch, Remembrance of Things Past,Charlotte’s Web, and other books that I often list as my favorites. Yes, folks, I’m putting this book right next to George Eliot and Proust!
Why is it so good? I tend to take a writer’s view of things here, which is that Philip Dick wrote something like more than 40 or 50 books, most of them very fast under deadlines. I think a lot of his fans must wonder, like me, what if he’d had time to explore his ideas more and make the most of them through many drafts and then careful editing? But this may be like asking what if a rabbit had wings. Philip Dick wrote what he wrote because of who he was, and there is the Dear Mr. Fantasy element of him as a writer.
Still, looking a little into the writing of A Scanner Darkly, I find that first, his wife of the time helped him a lot with it and he claimed she was the co-author, that he wrote the first draft quickly but spent several years rewriting it, and that it is one of the last books he wrote, having written more than 50 books beforehand. So, in a way, this is the book he had time to write and it’s the book he had someone beside him to edit and advise him on. I’m going to say that’s why A Scanner Darkly reads so whole, so focused, and realizes its ideas so fully.
Anyway, I really should stay away from speculation. This post is simply to say that I think A Scanner Darkly is a brilliant novel. Its dialogue is incredible, it realizes Dick’s literary technique mixing the real with the imagined in the story until they merge into one world–proving, of course, that in a novel there is no such thing as real. It’s touching, too, and very personal.
If you’re reading this post and have read the book, do you also see it as his most completely realized novel? If you haven’t read this book, have you read his others but never heard of this one as central?
Postscript: By the way, the movie stuck very close to the book storywise but like all fantastic books I wouldn’t try to judge the book from the movie if that’s all one knows.
Ein Jud von New York in Wien
Meine erste Post.