Dick’s Vision

DAVE ITZKOFF “Publisher to Release Philip K. Dick’s Insights Into Secrets of the Universehttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/30/books/30author.html


Mr. Dick, who died in 1982 at 53, was best known for existential science-fiction novels like “The Man in the High Castle,” “The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch” and “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” He also spent years wrestling with what he considered to be religious visions, which he began experiencing in the 1970s. He recorded his reactions to and attempts at deciphering these spiritual visions in a work he called the “Exegesis,” reputed to be 8,000 pages — or longer.

Though few have read the work and fewer still have fully understood it, the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt plans to release “The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick” in two consolidated volumes edited by Jonathan Lethem and Pamela Jackson, a Philip K. Dick scholar, with the first to be released next year.

Mr. Lethem, the author of novels like “Chronic City” and “The Fortress of Solitude,” and who has written frequently on Mr. Dick, said Thursday in a telephone interview that he hesitated to describe the original, unedited “Exegesis” as a work.

“The title he gave it, ‘Exegesis,’ alludes to the fact that what it really was was a personal laboratory for philosophical inquiry,” Mr. Lethem said. “It’s not even a single manuscript, in a sense. It’s an amassing or a compilation of late-night all-night sessions of him taking on the universe, mano a mano, with the tools of the English language and his own paranoiac investigations.”

高い城の男 (ハヤカワ文庫 SF 568)

高い城の男 (ハヤカワ文庫 SF 568)


In 1974, after a number of novels that explored the notions of personal identity and what it means to be human, Mr. Dick had a series of experiences in which he believed he had information transmitted to his mind by a pink beam of light. He wrote about these and similar occurrences in autobiographical novels like “Valis,” but also contemplated their meanings in personal writings that were not published.
ヴァリス (サンリオSF文庫)

ヴァリス (サンリオSF文庫)

やはり晩年の作品『ヴァリス』に繋がるものであるらしいが、『ガーディアン』の記事*1によると、既に1991年にExegesisの一部はPursuit of VALIS: Selections from the Exegesisとして刊行されているらしい。

*1:Alison Flood “Philip K Dick's visionary journals to be published” http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/apr/30/philip-k-dick-visionary-journals-published