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Monochrome Madonna The Secret of Gods Son (Pradyumna: Son of Krishna

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Ed through the door Charming and debonair one moment withdrawn and depressed the next desperate for love and shamelessly lecherous but also so transparently vulnerable it s hard to imagine whether most women felt revulsion or pity And yet PKD managed to get married five times the first time hardly counts though as he could not function without a female companion to support his obsessions and often seemed like a petulant child It s hard to view a man as both a brilliant writer and total sloppy emotional wreck but it can t be denied in his case He was that and much and that s why his life and works have inspired so much literary study and speculation In my opinion he is the most complicated brilliant deranged and study and speculation In my opinion he is the most complicated brilliant deranged and figure to ever grace the SF field and though his life may not have been a happy or stable one it was certainly uniue and memorable This is in no sense a scholarly work no footnotes no bibliography not even a further reading list Emmaneul Carr re is an unabashed fan of Philip K Dick who having read everything there was to read still wanted to know about how Dick s mind worked He pursued this uest through much of Dick s unpublished material and apparently interviews with those who knew him I say apparently because the lack of footnotes while adding to readability does detract from complete clarity about sources and research methods Nevertheless Carr re has produced a fascinating book and he and his translator Timothy Brent have made it a very readable one tooCarr re gives a reasonably full account of Dick s life while assuming that his readers are those who have already read most or all of Dick s major works and the earlier biographies Cautionary note this means that if you haven t read Dick s major works you should beware of spoilers His goal is working out an understanding of his subject s mind from this wealth of material To what extent did the traumas of Dick s childhood the death of his twin sister when they were a few weeks old his parents divorce his mother s own obsessions contribute to his own instability and emotional problems and to what extent were they merely the background against which his own personality oddities played out How did his problems and his drug use affect his fiction How much was the drug use the cause of his later problems and how much was it an unguided attempt at self medication Carr re seems both clear eyed and sympathetic in his descriptions of not only Philip Dick but also his parents wives and friends This is a highly readable and interesting book about a fascinating writerRecommended I may be cheating by tagging this as nonfiction but I think at worst you could call this a speculative biography It s probably the best one of PKD I can reasonably expect to read one that made me sympathize with and condemn THE MAN ALL OVER AGAIN ONE man all over again one reminded me of the very real and enduring power of his work while if anything highlighting his flaws as a writer Generally with Dick I can flip from paragraph to paragraph sentence to sentence word to word between thinking he was a genius and a hack a profound thinker and a hopelessly addled one Carrere has given him fitting tribute his prose is generally stronger than Dick s but you re left feeling like he and this book can t decide either At this point if someone told me they were interested in Dick s writing I might hand them I Am Alive and You Are Dead first In a comment on the respective authors of biographies of the poet Arthur Rimbaud Harper s book reviewer Wyatt Mason writes Whereas Robb reads plausible facts and uietly fills them out with fiction Steinmetz reads fiction as a loud disclosure of fact In I Am Alive and You Are Dead A Journey into the Mind of Philip K Dick Emmanuel Carrere employs both of the biographical techniues Mason describes using Dick s biography Great attempt to elucidate the source of Dick s writings from his experiences and uirky personality That fine line between madness and genius becomes clearer Though tagged as one whose imagination was fueled by hallucinogens his one LSD trip in 1964 was a bad one and never repeated His abuse of amphetamines also does little to account for his remarkable imagination but only of his ability to complete many of his novels in a few weeks His paranoia and obsessions are made comprehensible and the role that many women played in his life are sympatheticaly covered His conversion to Christianity and focus in the last phase of his life on mysticism was sadly disbelieved by his fans but understandable given his common method of nesting realities or parallel universes in his stories Prophecies of the Non Organization ManOn an early Spring camping trip to Seeley Lake in Montana about twenty years ago I took my canoe out before the morning mist had cleared The sun was bright above me but visibility was only about ten yards at water level Out of the still calm water ust ahead of the boat a fish leaped Before the fish had hit the water again a bald eagle swept in and attacked it with both talons But as the eagle struggled to rise with the fish in through the fog dived a much larger golden eagle Clearly panicked the bald eagle released his catch to the golden eagle and both flew straight up out of sightMy response was one of uncomprehending immobility Had the last three of four seconds actually happened the way I per. California As disturbing and engrossing as any novel by Philip K Dick himself Carrère's unconventional study interweaves life and art to reveal the maddening genius whose writing foresaw from cloning to reality TV a world that looks ever like one of his inventions. Everyday reality uestion what is human and explore paranoia and madness with a uniuely unadorned and blackly humorous style In classic starving artist fashion he only gained recognition and cult status in life and much of his fame came after passing away at age 53In his prolific career he published 44 novels and 121 short stories and in 2014 2015 I read 10 of his novels 7 audiobooks and 3 short story collections There s something so enticing about his paranoid darkly comic tales of everyday working class heroes troubled psychics bizarre aliens sinister organizations and obscure philosophical concepts He was a very eclectic reader showing intense interest a wide range of philosophies including Christian Gnosticism Jewish Kabbalism Zoroastrianism Manichaeism anamnesis and the dualistic nature of the ultimate divine beingIf you are keen to understand PKD himself and what kind of life and mind would create such works is a wealth of resources I would starting with Lawrence Sutin s Divine Invasions A Life of Philip K Dick 1989 This Is An Excellent And Well Structured Dick 1989 This is an excellent and well structured that takes the conventional approach of studying his childhood early years as a writer his messy romantic life mysterious religious experiences battles with depression and suicide attempts and his final eight years pouring out thousands of pages of rambling contradictory deranged hard written notes trying desperately to make sense of it all which eventually was distilled by Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem to The Child of the Soul and Other Stories just 944 pages as The Exegesis of Philip K Dick 2011Emmanuel Carrier s I Am Alive and You Are Dead A Journey into the Mind of Philip K Dick English edition 2005 original French edition published in 1993 covers the same biographical territory as Sutin s book and Carr re cites it as one of his resources along with many interviews with people close to PKD and many of his at the time unpublishedournal entries that make up the The Exegisis Given such similar source materials Carr re takes a different approach Rather than a standard biography he describes it as follows I have tried to depict the life of Philip K Dick from the inside in other words with the same freedom and empathy indeed with the same truth with which he depicted his own characters It s a trip into the brain of a man who regarded even his craziest books not as works of the imagination but as factual reports This is a book about the mind its alterations its remotest and most dangerous territories It s about drugs and mystics about the Zeitgeist of the sixties and the seventies and its legacy to our New Age So if you have read Sutin s book much of the narrative is already very familiar but written as if we are in PKD s head as a character in a book This means Carr re can take some major liberties that conventional biographers might hesitate to do Granted he is incorporating a lot of PKD s own Childrens Phantasies journal entries essays and interviews with friendsournalists ex wives etc It s the mosaic approach and he doesn t pretend that he has an infallible perspective Although I didn t find it off putting it does blur the lines between reality and fiction but we re talking about PKD here so if that were acceptable for anyone it would be for himI Am Alive and You Are Dead gets into very interesting territory when PKD has his bizarre religious experience with a pink laser beam of pure info in 2 3 74 and starts to write his Exegesis ournals in order to understand this experience This is where Carr re borrows liberally from PKD s fictional account of his own life and this seminal event Radio Free Albemuth written in 1976 but only published posthumously in 1985 which is essentially a self examination by PKD of his life via two alter egos Nicholas Brady who has the bizarre religious experience and the SF writer Philip K Dick who is skeptical but sympatheticAs you might expect this was not a very commercial book and only emerged as a by product of Dick s all night writing sessions for the Exegesis So he decided to re write it after a publisher rejected it and ended up with a masterpiece of sorts for hard core PKD fans VALIS 1981 This book to my mind is his most accessible and moving attempt to understand all the philosophical struggles he faced throughout his life It s remarkably similar in structure to Radio Free Albemuth to the point that PKD s alter egos are named Horselover Fat derived from the German and Latin roots of his name and the SF author Philip K Dick The big difference between the two books is that VALIS has a much stronger sense of irony and self reflection It treats with bittersweet irony topics such as drug abuse suicide mysticism religious delusions marital problems and essentially mirrors the duality that Gnosticism and Manichaeism represent I think that can only really be appreciated by readers who have already read and absorbed his most famous SF books because they are much biographical and probably don t make much sense as fiction But if you have read this far into the review I ll assume you are such a fanAnother thing that struck me throughout I Am Alive and You Are Dead is that Carr re wasn t afraid to show the sad and pathetic side of PKD s relationships with women He really was the most sad sack hopeless loser when it came to romance and falling willy nilly in love with almost every woman who stepp. Visions of swirling pink light three eyed invaders and messages from the Roman EmpireDrawing on interviews and both published and unpublished sources Carrère traces Dick's multiple marriages paranoid fantasies and and dizzying encounters with the drug culture of. PKD was one of my favorite authors throughout high school and it was fascinating to read this biography almost a decade later and to realize that one of the reasons I may have liked him so much is may latently possess some of the same neuroses that are in full swing for Dick Wow What can you say about Philip K Dick and this biography I mean I knew Dick was a paranoid but I had no idea to what degree he was Stunning I m surprised he didn t die from a stroke much earlier in his short life This book also confirmed for me that many of Dick s books were written in a drug addled state although he only took LSD once everything else was uppers for the most part It s how he churned out his novels so fastIt seemed to me that Dick had a miserable tortured life and I left the book feeling uite sorry for him His interactions with women played a significant role in his life he was married five times We can see elements of these women in some of his works However I thought the biographer kind of glossed over some really critical information about these relationships for several of the marriages I think could have been learned about Dick if were put into that areaI always wondered if Dick was writing from his life if he was as paranoid as his characters as caught up with alternative worlds and realms of being This book seems to answer those uestions with a resounding yes I was right He really did seem to write from his life Clearly he was one messed up dude However his literary gems wouldn t exist today without his tortured life to serve as an example for himI wasn t completely sympathetic to him though Carrere makes clear that Dick routinely repeated the same mistakes over and over again throughout his life particularly with women It s like he ust never learned never progressed That saddened me One would hope life s mistakes would engender personal growth but that s not the case for everyoneI have to admit to being a bit disgruntled with my having read this book though It kind of took Dick down a notch in my admiration He didn t seem to be a very likeable person in real life and his paranoias ust about drove me crazy no pun intended His books reflect his thinking which is to say enthralling yet warped One thing that was pretty good about the book however was the author tried it seemed to really get inside Dick s head and as the book went along it seemed to mirror Dick s life in his increasing paranoia and delusional states of being Clever way of writing the bookFinally I was really surprised to see how much religion meant to Dick He converted to Christianity and while that didn t dissuade him from drug abuse and whoring around it remained a critical element of his life for the remainder of his life Interesting On the whole it was pretty sound book and I don t know how Carrere pulled off such a comprehensive The only reason I t know how Carrere pulled off such a comprehensive work The only reason I not giving the book five stars is because as I previously stated I think Carrere could have spent time on Dick s relationships to give us a better understanding of the man Otherwise good effort I ve had an ongoing discussion with a writer friend of mine as to whether some kind of madness is a necessary ingredient to creativity This biography of writer Philip K Dick imagines that his body of work is essentially one extended AUTObiography This in itself would not be an interesting claim eg who would ever want to read a biography of John Updike but Dick s work consists of some of the most tripped out science fiction ever written The project is elegantly executed in an extraordinary simulation of Dick s own style and surely based on at least some facts Reading it is an unusually thought provoking experience I Am Alive and You are Dead A Journey Into the Mind of Philip K Dick Reality is Stranger than FictionOriginally posted at Fantasy LiteratureAnyone familiar with the SF novels of Philip K Dick and the many films inspired by his works knows that he was one strange and visionary guy Certainly the SF genre is filled with works of bizarre worlds aliens characters and slippery reality But it s generally accepted by authors and readers alike that these fictional creations are ust that works of the imagination by writers who are generally considered sane and share the consensus view of reality In the case of PKD however the line between reality and fiction sanity and madness redemption and damnation revelation and delusion is very blurred indeed In fact the person most likely to uestion such distinctions would be PKD himself if I Am Alive and You are Dead A Journey Into the Mind of Philip K Dick 2005 is to be believedIf you have not read any of PKD s major works I would stop right now and rectify that situation In my opinion his most iconic and important works are The Man in the High Castle 1962 Martian Time Slip 1964 The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch 1965 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep 1968 UBIK 1969 Flow My Tears the Policeman Said 1974 A Scanner Darkly 1977 and VALIS 1981 the Policeman Said 1974 A Scanner Darkly 1977 and VALIS 1981 assuming you have now read those books and been absolutely amazed by the reality bending visions that this man has brought to bear while using some of the most hackneyed conventions of Golden Age SF then perhaps you are ready to take the next stepPKD was one of the most iconic troubled and hard suffering SF writers ever to grace the field His books subvert our. This is an unforgettable biography of the visionary grand master of science fiction Philip K Dick Emmanuel Carrère follows Dick's strange odyssey from his traumatic beginnings in 1928 when his twin sister died in infancy to his lonely end in 1982 beset by mystical. .

Je suis vivant et vous êtes morts